Find out which health issues are surprisingly common.
Unfortunately, in today's day and age, it's likely that you know someone in your family or friend circle that’s been affected by heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. According to the CDC, more than half of all adults had one or more chronic health conditions and four in ten adults had two or more chronic health conditions. Here are five other health conditions that are actually more common than you may think.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Chances are you know someone who snores, which is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It affects approximately 30 million Americans or 10 percent of the population. OSA is a chronic disorder marked by people who experience a “pause” in their breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. When the airway is blocked by soft tissue during sleep, the oxygen levels in the body drop causing the person to wake up long enough to begin breathing normally again. The sleeper’s breathing pauses five or more times an hour; sometimes as often as once or twice each minute, and the person often is not aware that they “woke up.” Even though the awakenings are usually very short, they fragment and interrupt the sleep cycle, leading the sufferer to experience daytime fatigue, potential memory issues, and problems concentrating. Apnea is now accepted as one of the treatable causes of hypertension and is a strong predictor of stroke and heart disease. Remedying this issue may help improve your heart health. If you’ve been diagnosed with OSA by a doctor, they might recommend a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) to keep breathing airways open, positional therapy, use of oral appliances, nasal resistors, behavioral measures—including weight loss if OSA started after weight gain or an exercise regimen, and avoiding alcohol close to bedtime. If these solutions don’t work, a physician might recommend surgery to help remedy your OSA.