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Sleeping and snoring often go together, but unfortunately, signs of sleep apnea can also include gasping for air and feeling exhausted day after day. If you suffer from chronic fatigue – even though you sleep eight hours a night – you might have a problem with sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious condition that can create health risks for you, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, and even premature dementia.

Did you know that people who have OSA have an increased risk of heart attack, likely from lowered oxygen levels? Treating OSA can make a world of difference to your daily quality of life as well as avoid the following health conditions that can severely impact your long term health.

Strokes and Atrial Fibrillation

It causes a fluttering heartbeat, which means that your heart is beating too quickly because your body’s oxygen levels are disrupted. It, in turn, interferes with your brain’s ability to control how the blood flows into your arteries and brain. Atrial fibrillation typically is treated with medications like blood thinners and ablation (the surgical removal of body tissue). The good news is atrial fibrillation can be corrected by losing weight, and for those with sleep apnea, wearing a mask with a CPAP device to breathe easily again and boost oxygen levels as you sleep.

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure to worsen because of the stress it places on your body, causing hormones to be released while you are supposed to be sleeping. These can increase your blood pressure levels while lowering your oxygen levels from being unable to properly breathe. Treating sleep apnea can help those struggling with high blood pressure. Losing weight and sleeping with a CPAP mask can help.

Coronary Artery Disease

For those suffering from atherosclerotic coronary disease (a blockage that leads to heart attacks), untreated OSA interferes with metabolic function by negatively impacting cholesterol and sugar levels that can cause serious heart attacks with a fatal outcome.

Pulmonary Hypertension

It causes the blood pressure in the lungs to greatly increase and is worsened with untreated OSA. OSA has also been linked to congestive heart failure and inflammation that could affect diseases like Parkinson’s disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

People with this type of diabetes often have OSA, and the common denominator would be obesity. One thing is clear. Not getting the nightly sleep your body needs can interfere with your body’s ability to use insulin correctly.

Ongoing Obesity

Being overweight raises your odds of incurring sleep apnea while making it even harder to lose that weight. Excessive pounds increase your chances of getting sleep apnea, which makes weight loss harder. Fatty deposits in your neck interfere with being able to breathe easily in your sleep. Those treated for sleep apnea get the improved sleep they need, giving them the energy they need during their waking hours to exercise and improve their overall health.

Vehicular Accidents

Those who have untreated sleep apnea are up to five times more likely to be in a traffic accident than those who get enough sleep at night. It endangers your life as well as anyone in the vehicle with you and people you might hit.

Treating Sleep Apnea

As you can see, untreated sleep apnea can cause many problems for you and your health. Treating OSA can be done successfully with a CPAP device, oral appliance, nerve stimulators that keeps your airways open, and even surgery. First, you need to have a sleep study done, and that is where we come in. Our experienced team can evaluate your sleep patterns to make sure you are correctly treated for your sleep apnea. Not only will your day-to-day quality of life improve, but your long-term health likely will as well. Please call our office today to learn more or to schedule a consultation. Your health depends on it!