Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Fight Sleep Apnea Well After the War is Over

As we honor the men and women who served their country this Veterans Day its important that we recognize a problem that plagues tens of thousands of vets.

U.S. Military medical experts report 1 in 5 veterans develop sleep apnea - that's four times the risk compared to the general population. More than 63,000 former troops receive treatment, and that number is bound to rise as baby boomers who served in the Vietnam War grow older.

There are a couple factors that explain why veterans have a much higher rate of sleep apnea. Wartime exposure to airborne toxins, smoke and dust can cause permanent respiratory damage, making breathing difficult. In addition, many injured or disabled troops may gain weight as they get older.

Many use their veterans benefits for treatment of sleep apnea. CPAP is the first-line treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). Learn more about CPAP on Sleepeducation's CPAP Central webpage.

Image courtesy the U.S. Army

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