ONE in five people’s snoring is putting their health at risk, a study finds.
Obstructive sleep apnoea causes people to wheeze loudly through the night, keeping up their partners and increasing their chances of deadly disease.
But most people who have it don’t realise, French researchers said.
It means they are more likely to suffer high blood pressure, heart disease and type two diabetes unwittingly.
Dr Pauline Balagny, of University of Paris-Cité, said: “Obstructive sleep apnoea is common, but the majority of those affected do not know they have the condition.
“Our findings are in line with research in other countries which suggest that it is becoming more common.
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“We know it is a major health hazard but if patients are diagnosed with the condition, they can be given treatments and advice to mitigate the risks.”
Sleep apnoea is usually treated with lifestyle changes like losing weight, giving up smoking or reducing how much you drink.
Serious cases may need a CPAP machine, which pumps air into a mask you wear over your mouth or nose while you sleep.
Symptoms include breathing stopping and starting while you sleep, making gasping, snorting or choking noises, waking up a lot and loud snoring.
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During the day you may also feel very tired, find it hard to concentrate, suffer mood swings and have a headache when you wake up.
The latest study, published in ERJ Open Research, looked at data of more than 20,000 French adults.
They used questionnaires to gauge how many may have undiagnosed OSA, based on if they had any symptoms.
They found 20 per cent were highly likely to suffer it but just 3.5 per cent were being treated.
What are the 8 symptoms of sleep apnoea?
Symptoms of sleep apnoea mainly happen while you sleep.
- breathing stopping and starting
- making gasping, snorting or choking noises
- waking up a lot
- loud snoring
During the day, you may also:
- feel very tired
- find it hard to concentrate
- have mood swings
- have a headache when you wake up
Source: The NHS
Professor Winfried Randerath, of the European Respiratory Society, said: “Many people with OSA are not aware that their snoring and sleepiness are signs of a problem.
“We need to raise awareness of OSA because once people are diagnosed, they can be given treatment and advice to help lower their risk of other serious conditions.
“Although OSA is more common in men, this study indicates that we also need to get better at spotting the condition in women.”
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