Diagnosing sleep apnea can be difficult because doctors are unable to detect the disorder during a regular checkup. It cannot be detected by a blood test either. If it’s suspected that you have sleep apnea, your diagnosis often depends on whether your bed partner or a family member has witnessed you having difficulty breathing while sleeping or if you are experiencing signs of this disorder.
Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
If you suffer from sleep apnea, you might not realize it because you are sleeping when you stop breathing. However, you could experience certain symptoms that might suggest that you have this condition.
Sleep apnea symptoms might include:
- Loud snoring
- Making a loud choking or snorting sound while sleeping
- Waking up choking or gasping for air
- Lack of energy or feeling tired during the day
- Waking up with a headache, dry throat or very sore throat
- Restless sleep
- Being forgetful
- Difficulty with paying attention
- Insomnia or waking up often during the night
- Having difficulty staying awake while driving
- Irritability and changes in mood
- Lack of interest in sex
Occasionally having any of the above symptoms alone may not be cause for concern. Snoring does not necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea either. However, if you are frequently experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea or snoring loudly with breaks of silence, it might be a good idea to discuss this with your doctor.
Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of developing serious health problems, including:
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Arrhythmias/irregular heartbeat
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you for managing this condition. It might be as simple as making a few lifestyle changes, but in some cases breathing devices or surgery may be indicated.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology almost 25.7 million Americans 40 and over have cataracts. Cataracts are considered a normal part of the body’s aging process. The only cure for cataracts is to have surgery to remove them. The prospect of cataract surgery might be intimidating, but you can rest assured that this surgery is the most common elective surgery for older adults who have Medicare.
After your ophthalmologist has performed tests to confirm that you have cataracts, fear may set in. Being told that you have cataracts and that eventually you will need eye surgery to save your eyesight can be very scary news. It’s only natural to be afraid that there may a strong possibility you will go blind if you do not have the surgery. Then of course, there is the worry you might then have about having surgery on your eyes.
Removing a cataract involves separating it from the lens capsule. The affected lens will be replaced with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Sometimes it’s not possible to replace the lens. When this happens, your eye doctor will prescribe glasses or contact lenses that will compensate for not having a lens in your eye.
There is no scientific proof that cataracts can be prevented. Most types of cataracts are usually accepted as a normal part of aging. However, doctors advise that there might be ways to reduce your risk of developing or slow their progression.