Sleep apnea is a kind of sleep disorder that often causes loud snoring and pauses in breathing. It is a very common sleep disorder, and it is also serious. Sleep apnea has been associated with major health conditions, like heart disease, liver disease, and diabetes.
While most people know that loud snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, there are other symptoms that you may not be aware of. Below are 6 of them.
Studies have shown that people with sleep apnea experience depression more often than those who do not have sleep apnea. The older adult may exhibit signs of depression like withdrawing from friends and family, sadness, and lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed.
#2: Trouble Thinking
The frequent interruptions in sleep that happen when the person wakes to resume breathing result in fragmented sleep. This can cause “brain fog” because the brain doesn’t get the chance to clear its pathways during the night. You may notice that your aging relative has difficulty completing tasks or following instructions.
#3: High Blood Pressure
Sleep apnea has been associated with high blood pressure. In fact, it can make high blood pressure difficult to control. If your aging relative has difficulty keeping their blood pressure within the target range even with medications and lifestyle changes, they should be evaluated for sleep apnea.
#4: Daytime Sleepiness
Sleep apnea affects a person’s quality of sleep. They may wake feeling unrested and feel sleepy throughout the day. You might notice them dropping off to sleep easily during periods of inactivity, such as while watching television.
Many people with sleep apnea have heartburn during the night. This happens because sleep apnea causes the airway to collapse, which pulls stomach contents, including acid, into the esophagus. The heartburn may even cause the older adult to choke or cough.
#6: Dry Mouth
Your aging relative may wake to complain of a dry mouth. Sleep apnea can cause nasal passages to be blocked so that the person has to breathe through their mouth.
Elderly care can assist older adults who have sleep apnea to manage their condition.
If the senior uses a CPAP machine, an elderly care provider can help them to put the mask on at night. An elderly care provider can also assist with cleaning the CPAP.
Elderly care providers can also help with lifestyle changes that can reduce sleep apnea symptoms, such as losing weight and getting more exercise, by preparing healthy, low-calorie meals and encouraging the senior to be more physically active.
Are you or a loved one considering hiring a Caregiver in Central Arkansas, AR? First Choice Senior Care can help. Serving all of Little Rock and Central Arkansas. Please call and talk to our caring staff today. (501) 916-9307
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