Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sleep Apnea a Major Hazard to Firefighters

Rescue personnel dedicate their lives to saving people who are in danger. But who protects these heroes from the toll the job takes on their physical and mental health? Recent research reveals that nearly 40% of firefighters suffer from sleep apnea or another type of sleep disorder.

These conditions are serious, but that’s not even the worst news. TIME reports that the prevalence of sleep apnea could be linked to the high incidence among firefighters of heart attacks and car accidents, which together represent the majority causes of death within the profession.

An increased risk of heart attack is one of the most serious complications of sleep apnea. The condition also causes extreme fatigue and poor focus, which could account for the high risk of auto collisions.

The TIME article identified other complications firefighters with one or more sleep disorders are at risk for – all of which have been linked to sleep apnea. These include: 

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Mental and emotional health disruptions, including depression and anxiety
Perhaps most alarming of all, 80% of the firefighters who exhibited signs of apnea or other conditions had not been diagnosed or treated for the problem. No matter your age or occupation, sleep apnea needs to be caught and treated early to diminish the impact on your health.

To learn more about sleep apnea, please contact an experienced doctor in your area or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today.

posted by Admin at 9:01 AM