It's important for sleep apnea patients to understand how consequential their condition can be to their overall health. Obstructive sleep apnea doesn't only make it difficult for patients to breath properly while they're sleeping.
Sleep apnea can cause or contribute to the development of the following health problems:
1. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has many consequences on overall health. Because sleep apnea patients tend to awaken repeatedly during the night, there are abnormally high demands on their hormonal systems. These demands contribute to the development of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure can cause coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, and many other serious and potentially fatal health problems.
2. Heart Disease
Those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea have a greater chance of experiencing a heart attack while they are sleeping. Sleep apnea can make it harder for the body to get adequate oxygen. Also, waking up during the night causes increased stress that can make heart attacks more likely.
Another issue that often comes up in sleep apnea patients is atrial fibrillation. This is a complication that can develop in regards to a patient's heartbeat. Such conditions make it hard for the body to supply adequate oxygen to both the brain and the arteries.
Often, sleep apnea patients have trouble maintaining a healthy body weight. Not getting enough sleep frequently causes patients to experience weight gain. Those who don't sleep enough tend to have slower metabolisms and poorer health overall.
4. Chronic Fatigue
Chronic fatigue is a logical consequence of any condition that prevents a patient from getting adequate sleep. Chronic fatigue can raise a patient's chances of experiencing catastrophic incidents like on-the-job injuries and car accidents.
Patients who are groggy during the day are not as aware and not as able to protect themselves from everyday hazards. According to statistics, those who suffer from sleep apnea without treatment have an automobile accident rate that's three times more significant than that of the overall population.
5. Type 2 Diabetes
Obesity is one of the most prominent risk factors for both sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes. Like diabetes, sleep apnea can make a body more resistant to insulin. Insulin resistance typically leads to the development of diabetes.
In many cases, type 2 diabetes is a preventable condition. However, it was the seventh most frequent cause of death in America as of 2010. In 2010 alone, almost 70,000 individuals died due to type 2 diabetes or complications of the condition.
There are many dangerous factors involved with sleep apnea. To consider sleep apnea surgery or other treatment, consult your physician.