Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by abnormal reductions in breathing while you sleep. If left untreated, these reductions can have serious health consequences. In fact, sleep apnea can worsen other medical illnesses and affect your body in potentially fatal ways. Let’s review the effects sleep apnea Commack can have on you and why you should seek treatment.
1. Respiratory Problems
Sleep apnea deprives your body of oxygen when you sleep. Consequently, it can worsen chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma symptoms. You may run out of breath or find exercising more difficult than usual.
- Daytime Fatigue
Sleep apnea causes repeated awakenings throughout the night, which can make it difficult for you to get restful, restorative sleep. This can cause severe daytime fatigue, drowsiness, and irritability. It can also make it difficult for you to concentrate, causing you to fall asleep when driving, eating, working, or watching TV. As such, sleep apnea also increases your risk of workplace and motor vehicle accidents. Adolescents and children with this condition might have behavioral problems and perform poorly in school. They could also be depressed, moody, or quick-tempered.
3. Endocrine-Related Illnesses
When you have sleep apnea, you are more likely to develop insulin resistance. Insulin resistance prevents your cells from responding as they should to insulin, which can lead to increased blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, sleep apnea is associated with several risk factors for heart disease, including a larger-than-normal waist circumference, high LDL cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure.
4. Cardiovascular Problems
Medical experts have linked sleep apnea with high blood pressure and obesity, which tend to increase the strain on your heart. Consequently, people with sleep apnea are at a higher risk of having an abnormal heart rhythm, making them more likely to suffer a stroke or heart failure.
5. Surgery Complications
When a patient has obstructive sleep apnea, they are at a higher risk of major surgery complications. Experiencing trouble breathing, especially when sedated or lying on your back, can be a major concern, and you should always discuss your sleep apnea with your doctor before surgery.
- Digestive Tract Problems
Patients with sleep apnea are more likely to have liver scarring, fatty liver disease, and higher-than-normal liver enzyme levels. The condition can also worsen symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), such as heartburn, causing further disruption to your sleep.
7. Neurological Symptoms
Central sleep apnea, a form of sleep apnea, results from a disruption in the signals in your brain that enable you to breathe. It can often cause other neurological symptoms like tingling and numbness.
8. Low Libido
Sleep apnea is a contributing factor to erectile dysfunction in some men and can lower your sex drive. This can lead to fertility problems that make it difficult to have children.
9. Other Issues
Sleep apnea can have other effects on your body, including causing symptoms like a sore throat or dry mouth in the morning, irritability, and headaches.
Sleep apnea is linked to many medical conditions, including high blood pressure and obesity. Coupled with poor-quality sleep, these conditions can have harmful and far-reaching effects on your body. At Chase Dental Sleepcare, we combine advanced therapies, comprehensive diagnostics, and decades of experience to help improve your quality of sleep. Contact one of our NY metro area offices to discuss your symptoms and available treatment options with a sleep expert.