At Twin Waters Pharmacy, we recognise the importance of quality sleep in maintaining overall health and well-being. In this blog post, we aim to shed light on sleep apnoea, a prevalent yet often undiagnosed sleep disorder affecting many Australians. Understanding the health risks, risk factors, and prevalence of sleep apnoea is crucial for early detection and effective management.
The Health Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnoea in Australia:
Australia has seen a rise in cardiovascular diseases, and untreated sleep apnoea contributes significantly to this trend. The disorder is associated with an increased risk of hypertension, stroke, and heart disease.
Daytime Impairment and Accidents
Individuals with sleep apnoea often experience daytime fatigue and impaired cognitive function. This can lead to an elevated risk of accidents, both on the road and in the workplace.
Australia, like many developed nations, is grappling with rising rates of type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnoea has been linked to insulin resistance and metabolic disturbances, adding to the burden of metabolic health concerns.
Impact on Mental Health
The chronic sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnoea can contribute to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, affecting the mental well-being of affected individuals.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnoea in the Australian Context
Australia faces a growing issue of obesity, and excess weight is a significant risk factor for sleep apnoea. The accumulation of fat around the neck can contribute to airway obstruction during sleep.
Age and Gender
As the population ages, the prevalence of sleep apnoea tends to increase. Men are generally more prone to the condition, but the risk for women rises with factors such as weight gain and hormonal changes.
Indigenous Health Disparities
Health disparities, including those related to sleep disorders, exist among Indigenous Australians. Cultural and socio-economic factors may contribute to the prevalence of sleep apnoea in specific populations.
Smoking and Alcohol Use
Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, are prevalent in Australia and can contribute to the relaxation of airway muscles, increasing the risk of sleep apnoea.
Prevalence of Sleep Apnoea in Australia
While the exact prevalence of sleep apnoea in Australia may vary, studies suggest that a significant portion of the population is affected:
- It is estimated that around 9% of Australian women and 25% of Australian men have obstructive sleep apnoea.
- Many cases remain undiagnosed, highlighting the need for increased awareness and proactive screening.
Taking Action at Twin Waters Pharmacy
If you suspect sleep apnoea or exhibit risk factors, seeking professional help is crucial. At Twin Waters Pharmacy, we offer comprehensive sleep apnoea testing, CPAP machines, and consumables to support your journey to better sleep and improved health. By understanding the health risks, risk factors, and prevalence of sleep apnoea, you can take proactive steps toward a healthier, more restful life.