Sleep apnea is a common condition that can affect over 200,000 Americans every year. It is difficult to diagnose as there is no blood test or obvious finding that is associated with it but can result in significant daytime sleepiness, fatigue and be associated with loud snoring. In fact, often it is partners of those affected that first notice this issue. It can be due to obstruction of the air passages or a decreased drive to breathe. Being overweight, certain anatomic characteristics, smoking, drinking alcohol, certain medications including narcotics all increase the risk of sleep apnea. If this is untreated, it can result in serious medical problems including high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes and stroke.
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