Improve your sleep health and avoid the dangers of untreated sleep apnea.
Both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea are considered serious medical conditions. The dangers of sleep apnea range from annoying to life threatening. They include depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep while at work, on the phone or driving. Sleep apnea sufferers may also be more prone to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Other complications of sleep apnea include:
People with obstructive sleep apnea have up to three times the risk of hypertension than people with good sleep health. That’s because the blood oxygen level drops that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain your cardiovascular system.
Underlying heart disease can lead to a potentially fatal heart attack in a sleep apnea sufferer. Untreated sleep apnea can also lead to stroke, congestive heart failure, diabetes, arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the heart’s muscle tissue). Central sleep apnea is usually the result – not the cause – of heart disease.
Partners with poor sleep health
Many people who share a bed with a loud snorer are also sleep deprived. Snoring from untreated sleep apnea can strain your relationships since your partner may have to sleep in another part of your home to get a solid night’s rest.
It’s impossible to get restorative sleep when you suffer from untreated sleep apnea. That’s why people with sleep apnea are often extremely fatigued during the day. Untreated sleep apnea can cause irritability and make it hard for you to concentrate at work and school and can be the cause of poor job performance.
Complications with surgery and medications
Obstructive sleep apnea is especially risky during surgery because sufferers are prone to breathing problems when they are sedated and lying on their backs. If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and are planning on having surgery, be sure to tell your doctor about your sleep disorder. Sleep apnea can also be a concern with general anesthesia and some medications.