For those who have never heard of sleep apnea, or who have heard of it but are unsure of what it is, sleep apnea is a relatively common condition that affects the patient's ability to breathe while sleeping. The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea, and involves the airway collapsing, or otherwise becoming blocked, for a few seconds to a few minutes, making breathing difficult. It is often difficult to diagnose, as it does not lead to specific symptoms a doctor can test for during a routine visit, such as through blood tests. However, sleep apnea definitely negatively impacts an affected individual's daily quality of life, and can cause other health issues.
Negatively Affecting Loved Ones
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of sleep apnea is the way in which it negatively affects a patient's loved ones. As mentioned before, one of the most common diagnostic tools of sleep apnea is complaints from loved ones. The loud snoring and whistling can keep partners up throughout the night, leading them to be sleep-deprived, irritated, and resentful. Many partners will wake up their sleep apnea-affected partner to stop the noise. Constantly being awoken by one's partner can cause resentment towards them as well. Because of this, an easily fixable problem can become a wedge in even the strongest relationships. The gasping, choking noise often seen in sleep apnea can also cause loved ones undue worry and stress.