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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Why African Americans Need to "Wake Up" When it Comes to Sleep Apnea

Man with sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a medical condition where the patient literally stops breathing while they are sleeping. It comes from the Greek word meaning "without breath." And it is also a medical condition that occurs more often among men than women, and among African-American and Hispanic men. Ignoring it can lead to serious health problems.

Why you shouldn't ignore sleep apnea

The truth is, many people have sleep apnea and don't know it. They may think they just have a snoring problem, which is one of the symptoms of sleep apnea. But ignoring sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and other health issues that can shorten your life.

Recognize the symptoms

You may have sleep apnea if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
  • Snoring
  • Dry mouth or headache in the morning
  • Waking up out of breath
  • Feeling tired during the day

Is ignoring these symptoms worth the risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and increased risk for a stroke? No. If you think you have sleep apnea, see a doctor. Sleep apnea can be and should be treated.

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