Severe sleep apnea has been strongly associated with extreme health risks such as heart failure and stroke along with excessive daytime sleepiness. If you are experiencing an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 5 to 15 apneas and or hypopneas you have mild apnea, 15 to 30 moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and 30 or more is classified with severe OSA, which is measured by the number of apneas of cessation of breathing and or hypopneas of constricted breathing during each hour of sleep during a sleep study.

Common comorbidities of severe sleep apnea include diabetes and heart disease and recent studies have shown that severe OSA patients are at greater risk for fatal illnesses like cancer. Moreover, severe OSA patients along with usual factors like age, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, and weight are 5 times more likely to die of cancer as shown in a study with thousands of sleep patients in Spain with the most severe forms of sleep apnea had 65% greater risk of developing cancer of any kind. On the other hand, moderate OSA patients were found to die of cancer at rate twice higher as compared to those without any sleep disorder breathing. Another study in 2009 published by PLOS Medicine with 6441 men and women with and without sleep apnea were being tracked for 15 years, and adjusted with factors like age, race, body mass index (BMI) and smoking, men ages 40 to 70 with severe sleep apnea had 1.5 times higher risk of dying from any cause than those without severe OSA. Essentially, though not conclusive proof, it reinforces the underlying danger of having severe OSA and those who are not being diagnosed.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of sleep apnea such as snoring, daytime sleepiness, irritability, and low energy, it is important to consult a doctor to confirm the diagnosis early and the underlying issue of the cause of sleep apnea. Depending on your financial situation and sleep apnea condition, the doctor will work through with you the type of sleep apnea test in the comfort of your home or an in-lab sleep test to determine the precise nature of your condition to avoid any long-term issues. Besides most insurance companies now pay for sleep testing and CPAP OSA treatment, early intervention with a sleep apnea device can stop snoring or one can a sleep apnea CPAP trial from the equipment supplier or distributor that distributes a range of sleep apnea machine and CPAP supplies for a better quality of sleep and healthier overall well-being.

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