Close X

Réseau FADOQ est le plus important regroupement de personnes de 50 ans et plus de la province et la référence en matière de qualité de vie des aînés québécois. En savoir plus

Pour connaître les produits et les offres dans votre région, veuillez indiquer votre langue et votre secteur.

It is the largest group of people aged 50 and over in the province and the benchmark for the quality of life of Quebec seniors. More info

To find out about products and offers in your area, please indicate your language and sector.

Pour connaître les produits et les offres dans votre région, veuillez indiquer votre secteur.

To know the products and offers in your region, please indicate your sector.

Choisissez votre langue|Choose your language

Choisissez votre région|Choose your region

ou|or Trouver ma région par code postal|Find your region by postal code

Trouver ma région par code postal|Find your region by postal code

ou|or Choisissez votre région|Select your region in a list

Désolé, aucune région n'a été trouvée pour le code postal demandé. Veuillez essayer avec un autre code postal ou faire le choix de votre région manuellement.|Sorry, no region was found for the requested postal code. Please try with a different postal code or choose your region manually.

Close X

Réseau FADOQ est le plus important regroupement de personnes de 50 ans et plus de la province et la référence en matière de qualité de vie des aînés québécois. En savoir plus

Pour connaître les produits et les offres dans votre région, veuillez indiquer votre langue et votre secteur.

It is the largest group of people aged 50 and over in the province and the benchmark for the quality of life of Quebec seniors. More info

To find out about products and offers in your area, please indicate your language and sector.

Pour connaître les produits et les offres dans votre région, veuillez indiquer votre secteur.

To know the products and offers in your region, please indicate your sector.

Choisissez votre langue|Choose your language

Choisissez votre région|Choose your region

ou|or Trouver ma région par code postal|Find your region by postal code

Trouver ma région par code postal|Find your region by postal code

ou|or Choisissez votre région|Select your region in a list

Désolé, aucune région n'a été trouvée pour le code postal demandé. Veuillez essayer avec un autre code postal ou faire le choix de votre région manuellement.|Sorry, no region was found for the requested postal code. Please try with a different postal code or choose your region manually.

Did you know ?

Sleepy all the time? Sleep apnea could be the culprit

homme qui bailleRichard is 61. A year after retiring, he’s surprised that his energy level still seems low, something he used to blame on a heavy work load. Far from feeling rested, he’s irritable, and worse still, has just been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Could sleep apnea be causing Richard’s problems?

“There are two peak periods for a sleep apnea diagnosis. When people are in the midst of their working lives—late 20s to 40s—and then, when they hit 60. Often, a physician will prescribe a test for sleep apnea when a patient calls them about another health problem that could be linked to apnea,” says Dr. Claude Poirier, a pulmonologist at the CHUM.

Me, sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic respiratory illness caused by the relaxing of throat muscles that results in the airway becoming partially or completely blocked. Occurring more often in men than women, this illness is as common as asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure, but 80% of those affected do not realize they have it. After we turn 50, the risk of developing it increases with age.

The problem is that we don’t necessarily notice frequent interruptions in breathing throughout the night because we’re asleep! Still, there are some symptoms that we should look out for: interruptions in breathing noted by the person we’re sharing our bed with, agitated sleep, gasping for breath, a feeling of suffocation or excessive sweating during sleep, daytime drowsiness, a drop in energy, concentration or alertness, irritability, depression, etc.

Also to consider are risk factors such as obesity, family history, respiratory allergies, menopause, consumption of alcohol, tobacco or sleeping pills, etc.

Why see a doctor?

If you’re worried, you can take an online test to assess your level of daytime sleepiness (Epworth). A score of between 10 to 20 means that you should get a medical opinion.

Sleep apnea saps more than your psychological well-being and quality of life. If left untreated, it also increases your susceptibility to heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and depression.

“Anxiety and depression are major issues in sleep apnea. Shortage of REM sleep, which is associated with this disease, can lead to depressive and anxiety disorders. If apnea is not treated, antidepressants will be given for these disorders, which will cause side effects such as weight gain. Obesity is one of the main risk factors for sleep apnea. In addition, this disease is characterized by a bigger appetite. It’s a vicious circle that exacerbates the situation as long as apnea remains untreated,” says Dr. Poirier.

What is the treatment?

Physicians diagnose sleep apnea based on test results. In 80% of the cases, the test is the cardiorespiratory sleep polygraph. But this is where it gets complicated. Dr. Poirier informs us that there is a wait time of at least a year to take this overnight test in the hospital, and that’s not counting the time it takes to get an appointment with a sleep medicine specialist. The entire process takes about two years. If you have $300–$600 to spend, it’s faster in the private sector.

The other problem is that the most effective treatment is the use of a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machine every night when you go to sleep. However, the device and the support required to ensure proper use can cost between $1,500 and $2,200, an amount that is not covered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec. In most of the Canadian provinces, on the other hand, people are entitled to financial support for the purchase of a CPAP machine. We had a similar program in Québec, but, in the early 2000s, it was cut.

According to Dr. Poirier, sleep apnea is treated as a second-class disease in our health system.

“A whole segment of the population—people with low incomes— is sleepy, even dangerously so, but they simply don’t have access to the tests and treatments,” he affirms.

TRUE OR FALSE?

  1. Snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea.
    FALSE People snore who do not have sleep apnea and others have sleep apnea but do not snore.
  2. 50% of people who suffer from depression have sleep apnea.
    TRUE Sleep apnea symptoms are often mistaken for symptoms of depression.
  3. Untreated sleep apnea doubles the risk of being involved in a car accident.
    TRUE This is due to diminished alertness and vigilance.
  4. There is a 75% risk of developing sleeping apnea after the age of 80.
    FALSE The rate is nearly 100%, due to aging and weight gain.
  5. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits is beneficial after a diagnosis of sleep apnea.
    TRUE Recommendations include maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking and exercising regularly.