At least 50 million Americans have a sleep disorder, and over 22 million adults are impacted in some way by sleep apnea. Over 10% of Americans are estimated to suffer from Obstructed Sleep Apnea (OSA). While OSA is the most prevalent type of sleep apnea, up to 80% of moderate-to-severe cases are never diagnosed. However, ignoring sleep apnea or putting off the treatment is a dangerous decision that can have dire consequences far more severe than fatigue, snoring, or being in a lousy mood the next day. In fact, some side effects of sleep apnea can be potentially fatal. But what are the most common sleep apnea side effects?
Nationwide stress rates are through the roof, so it may seem like everywhere you turn someone’s either depressed or has anxiety issues. While “everyone” is quite the stretch, the truth is anxiety and depression are the most common mental illnesses affecting 18.1% of the adult population or 40 million adults. Although they’re completely treatable in most cases, fewer than 40% of those suffering bother seeking treatment. And while there are several risk factors for depression and anxiety, they’re heavily linked to sleep apnea. However, treating your sleep apnea with a continuous positive airway pressure may significantly reduce your depression as well.
High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
If you or a loved one seem to sound like a chainsaw during your sleeping hours, you have a higher risk of sleep apnea. Moreover, your chances of developing high blood pressure and heart disease just went through the roof. Medical science isn’t completely sure why there’s a strong link between heavy snoring and high blood pressure. But research does seem to prove that the blocked airway and extra effort applied to breathing likely put extra stress on many of your organs, including your heart. The good news, however, is that the reverse is also true. So if you have your snoring treated or corrected, it should help reduce your blood pressure.
A stroke, also known as a brain attack, occurs when the blood flow is cut off to a certain area of the brain. Brain cells then begin dying because the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen. Bodily functions quickly begin to shut down, and severe confusion, paralysis, or even death can follow. There are several major risk factors for stroke, but the main ones include obesity, smoking, living a sedentary lifestyle, and sleep apnea. Improve your life choices and treat your apnea to reduce your risk of having a stroke.
It’s no secret that obesity and type 2 diabetes go hand-in-hand. But it may come as some surprise that those with Obstructed Sleep Apnea tend to have higher glucose levels. Once again, however, that link can work either way. So treating your sleep apnea may help reduce your blood sugar levels. While there are plenty of other risk factors, these are the most common sleep apnea side effects. Talk to your Red Bank Dentist about treating your OSA to see a huge improvement in the quality of your life.