5 Health Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea
When it comes to sleep apnea, it is important to seek treatment immediately. If sleep apnea goes untreated, you run the risk of developing various health conditions that could be extremely detrimental to your overall health and wellbeing. When sleep apnea is untreated, you might have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and more. Let’s explore five health problems that are often linked with untreated sleep apnea:
An increase in weight raises the risk of sleep apnea, while losing weight can help cure sleep apnea. When people are severely overweight, they can fail to breathe rapidly enough or deep enough. When this occurs, it results in low blood oxygen levels and high blood carbon dioxide levels. And when this happens, many people who are obese stop breathing altogether for short periods of time during sleep. In return, this places an extreme strain on the heart, which can lead to symptoms of heart failure.
2. Heart Disease
Sleep apnea can also lead to heart attacks, which cause people to die in the middle of the night due to low oxygen or the stress of waking up frequently during sleep. As you might know, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, while stroke takes fourth place for the cause of death and a leading cause of disability with high blood pressure being a major risk in both conditions. The relationship between sleep apnea, hypertension and cardiovascular disease is very strong, which makes it vital that everyone understand this connection.
3. Type 2 Diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, it is very common to also suffer from sleep apnea. This can also lead to obesity, which is another common comorbidity of sleep apnea. Both diabetes and sleep apnea share a long list of potential complications. These complications include: • High blood pressure • Cardiovascular disease • Eye disease • Changes in glucose metabolism • Weight control problems While treating sleep apnea is important in getting a good night’s rest, treatment can also help treat and maybe even eradicate many other diabetic complications.
4. High Blood Pressure
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can contribute to high blood pressure in people who have it due to the frequency of waking up at nighttime. Because of this, hormonal systems go into overdrive, which results in high blood pressure levels. The sudden drops in blood-oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea episodes increase blood pressure and place a strain on your cardiovascular system.
5. Acid Reflux
While there is no proof that sleep apnea causes acid reflux or persistent heartburn, it has been shown that people with sleep apnea do complain of acid reflux. As a result, treatment of sleep apnea appears to improve acid reflux and vice versa. The association with sleep apnea and acid reflux is relatively new, but we have been aware of it for some time now. Taking the next step by treating sleep apnea and acid reflux can help you maintain a healthy, active lifestyle without complications—now that is a good reason to get treatment!
Sleep apnea can be easily treated to prevent many of these health conditions. Contact a Snoring Isn’t Sexy dentist today and take charge of your health today and seek treatment for sleep apnea immediately—your health and rest will benefit!