Sleep apnea might not feel like a big deal to you, but it is a serious condition with dangerous consequences. Many people don’t know about the risks associated with sleep apnea, which is why it’s important to learn about the hidden dangers of this disorder.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. In this case, the pauses can last for a few seconds to minutes and can happen more than 30 times an hour.
You might not be aware that you have sleep apnea because it occurs during sleep. However, sleep apnea can cause loud snoring and make it difficult to stay asleep. It can result in daytime fatigue, irritability and difficulty concentrating. Sleep apnea can be of different types, including obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and mixed sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea blocks your airway during sleep. Central sleep apnea obstructs the part of the brain that doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. Mixed sleep apnea combines obstructive as well as central sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can have many consequences if left untreated.
Sleep apnea and high blood pressure
When you stop breathing, even for a short period of time, it can cause your blood pressure to rise. This puts extra strain on your heart and can lead to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. On top of that, sleep apnea can also cause irregular heartbeats, which can further increase your risk of heart problems.
When your condition goes untreated, the strain on your heart can lead to serious problems such as heart failure, stroke and even death.
Sleep apnea and diabetes
Sleep apnea can also affect your blood sugar levels and increase your risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes occurs when your body can’t properly regulate blood sugar levels. This can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease and blindness. There are several ways sleep apnea can raise your blood sugar levels, including by disrupting your body’s natural insulin production. If you have diabetes, it’s important to control your blood sugar levels and treat sleep apnea to lower your risk of serious complications.
Sleep apnea and accidents
Sleep apnea can also cause fatigue and make it difficult to stay awake during the day. This can result in accidents like falls, car crashes and work-related injuries. If you have sleep apnea, it’s important to be careful when driving or operating machinery. You should also avoid working long hours or doing shifts that require you to be awake for long periods of time.
Sleep apnea and mental health
Sleep apnea can also affect your mental health. The condition can cause anxiety and depression and can make it difficult to concentrate. You might face memory problems and difficulty making decisions. Getting your treatment can help manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Sleep apnea and pregnancy
Sleep apnea can also affect pregnant women. The condition can cause high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, which is a serious condition that can lead to premature birth or even death. If you are pregnant, it’s important to get treated for sleep apnea so you can lower your risk of complications.
Sleep apnea and weight gain
Sleep apnea can also cause weight gain. The condition can lead to changes in your hormones that make you hungrier and cause you to eat more. Sleep apnea can also make you less active, which can lead to weight gain. You should get treated immediately so you can manage your weight and improve your health.
These are just some of the hidden dangers of sleep apnea. If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s important to see a doctor and get treated. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that, as you have seen, can have many consequences if left untreated. Treatment will help in improving your quality of life and lowering your risk of developing complications from the disorder.