Sleep apnea is a disorder that is often not understood by doctors who are not a specialist in the field of sleep disorders. On top of that, not many people are knowledgeable on the subject matter. Thus, it can be difficult for people with sleep apnea to apply for life insurance.
Insurance companies are not sure about the risks of applicants with sleep apnea and other disorders that are less understood. Although some are refused from getting coverage of life insurance, there are some companies who accept applicants with sleep apnea but their life insurance may cost more.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can possibly be fatal. This is a condition where the sufferer temporarily stops breathing while sleeping. Due to lack of oxygen, they may suddenly wake up and gasp for air.
Oftentimes, it is the partner or housemates of the person with sleep apnea that rings the alarm. The sufferer often snores loudly when asleep and stops breathing for a few minutes. In the morning, a person with sleep apnea may feel tired and irritable due to lack of sleep. They may also feel sleepy throughout the day.
Other health complications may also arise from sleep apnea. In the long run, you may develop heart problems, diabetes, and even metabolic syndrome. Most of all, your partner or future partner will have to suffer and lose sleep because of the loud snoring, you might be kicked out of the bed eventually.
Here are 3 types of sleep apnea a person may suffer from:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the obstruction of the airway when the throat muscles and tongue are in a relaxed state. When your brain notices that you are not breathing in enough air, it will signal your brain to wake you up. Thus, you will suddenly wake up gasping for air.
You will most likely have obstructive sleep apnea if you have thicker-than-usual neck, excess weight and narrowed airway. Being an older male also makes you a likely candidate for an obstructive sleep apnea.
Central Sleep Apnea
The main cause of central sleep apnea is when your brain fails to send signals to your respiratory system to breathe continuously even in sleep. Thus, you are also awakened from your deep sleep and result in gasping for air when you awake.
People who are most likely candidates for central sleep apnea are those who previously had a stroke, have a cardiovascular disease and use narcotic pain medications. Being an older male also makes you a likely candidate.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome
This is when you are experiencing sleep apnea due to obstructions in the airway and your brain also fails to send the right signals that allows you to breathe even when asleep. Complex sleep apnea can also be called treatment-emergent sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is a lot more common than you think. In fact, 42 million Americans suffer from it. Treatments are being developed for this disorder. However, before you know about the types of treatment you should get, you need to first consult a doctor to get the actual diagnosis.
There are traditional treatments that are often used by doctors to relieve you of the symptoms of sleep apnea. They may recommend the use of CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP is a mask that you put on while asleep. It provides you with a continuous air flow so you will always be breathing while asleep.
Some dental or oral appliances may also be used to make sure that your airway remains open and you are able to breathe unobstructed, while you sleep. If possible, a surgery may even be recommended.
In addition to the traditional treatments, people who suffer from sleep apnea are also encouraged to practice a healthy lifestyle. As mentioned earlier, having sleep apnea may result in more comorbidities like heart disorder, diabetes and obesity.
Thus, you are always encouraged to lose excess weight, if any. You should also prevent smoking, and drinking alcohol. Using sedatives should also be stopped.
Sleep Apnea and Insurance
In the past, sleep apnea was considered a pre-existing condition, thus many life insurance providers often decline to give coverage to people who suffer from the disorder. However, the times have changed and more treatment options are now available for sleep apnea patients.
Thus, insurance providers have also reconsidered and are now willing to provide the much needed life insurance. However, in order to avail life insurance despite the sleep apnea, you have to qualify for their criteria.
Here are the criteria for most life insurance providers:
- You have to be honest about your condition. You should be able to show your diagnosis and treatment plan that your doctor has prescribed. Some people do not disclose important details and that is often the reason they are declined coverage.
- You should be following the doctor’s instructions and treatment. Whether you were advised to use a CPAP machine or an oral or dental appliance, make sure that you use them. CPAP machines are connected to your insurance to collect your sleep data. This way, you will have proof that the treatment is working.
- You should be able to prove that the treatment is working and you are experiencing improvements. This can be done through the collection of sleep data recorded by your CPAP machine. An improved Oxygen saturation in the blood may also indicate that you are breathing just fine while asleep.
- Lose excess weight and make an effort to improve your health. Insurance providers want to see you live a healthy lifestyle because sleep apnea already predisposes you to more serious and chronic illnesses. Having a normal BMI shows that you are dedicated to living a healthy life.
A life insurance is a good investment you should be considering to ensure your family is financially protected, in case you get into an accident. Don’t let sleep apnea prevent you from getting that life insurance.
Act now! Get yourself checked by a doctor and start treatment as soon as possible. That way, you can immediately apply and be considered for life insurance.
Alaska Sleep Clinic is the premiere, independent diagnostic sleep clinic in Alaska, with the most experience with sleep Telemedicine than any other sleep lab in the state. If you or a loved one feel you have sleep apnea, call Alaska Sleep Clinic today for your free sleep assessment. Improve Your Sleep. Improve Your Life.