Sleep apnoea can have devastating effects for both the suffer and others. Normally it is the heavy snoring that is the giveaway. Some people it is the gasping when they stop breathing for that minuscule period.
Getting diagnosed is not always easy but if you do feel that you may be suffering get checked! Your doctors can refer you to specialist clinics who can then run tests. It may well be that you will need to be supplied with a C-Pap or Bi-Pap machine. The first picture shows what they are like. These machines do take some getting used to but used properly they can keep your airways open. Not only will this normally reduce or stop your snoring but will also ensure that your heart beats properly. Without proper heart beats to keep the blood and oxygen flowing there is a danger of brain damage.
When you are checked they (the sleep apnoea clinics) will be able to count the number of ‘apps’ that occur. When mine was tested the count was 67 per hour, meaning my sleep was disturbed at least once every minute. The downside was that I had to declare it to the DVLA and they asked me to return my driving licence.
However, once you realise that people like me with big ‘app’ counts can, just drop off to sleep for no reason not driving is sensible. On the bright side if we go out socially I am the one who can always have a drink.
I am sure though, that had I not been diagnosed when I was, I would have suffered long term damage. In turn that could have led to me being in a wheelchair!
So if you or a loved one snore loudly and then stop and gasp, get checked. If you find you have sleep apnoea it could be better than using a wheelchair