Sleep apnea or snoring while sleeping is a more serious disorder than one thinks. Unlike most people think, it is not the simple case of snoring loudly and getting enough sleep. In some instances, sleep apnea can sometimes be a matter of life and death. If you think you suffer the problem of sleep apnea, it is important to consult a doctor immediately and start the treatment procedure. In fact, obstructive sleep apnea or OSA treatment can save life as it causes the muscles at the back of the throat to relax, thus blocking the airway.
Ill effects of sleep apnea on the overall health:
Snoring can count for a bad night’s sleep both for the person and their roommate. The condition raises the risk of other health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. It can also make the person susceptible to road accidents. Here are the major health problems that one can face if they have OSA.
- High blood pressure:
For those who have hypertension, sleep apnea can make the condition worse. When one wakes up often in the night there are chances for the body to get stressed. This can get the hormone systems to overdrive, and boosts the blood pressure levels. Also, when the level of oxygen in the blood drops when the person is not able to breathe well, it also adds to the problem.
- Heart disease:
People with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to get heart attacks than those who do not have apnea. The causes for this may be a low oxygen level or the stress of waking up often at night. Atrial fibrillation and strokes are also associated with this condition. Sleep apnea actually disturbs the way in which the body takes in and uses the oxygen; this makes it hard for the brain to control how blood flows in the arteries and the brain itself.
- Type-2 diabetes: Sleep apnea is common among people with type 2 diabetes. More than 80 percent of them might suffer OSA. Obesity raises the risk of the person for both sleep apnea and type-2 diabetes.
- Weight gain: sleep apnea can result in additional weight gain and the additional pounds that are gained will also become difficult to get trimmed down. Obese people will have fatty deposits on their necks that block breathing at night. Sleep apnea also causes the body to release more of the hormone ghrelin that makes the person crave for carbs and sweets.
- Adult Asthma: Sleep apnea increases the risk of Asthma attacks in adults.
- Acid reflux: sleep apnea is proven to cause a type of heartburn.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea:
Thus, the health problems that are associated with sleep apnea seem scary and thus it is important to consult the nearest sleep apnea clinic to take treatment and lead a happy life. The doctor may recommend the use of the CPAP machine for continuous positive airway pressure. The machine has a mask attached with a hose and helps the person to breathe better at night. People who use this feel better and healthy in the long run. There are also other treatment options such as mouth appliances and nerve stimulators to help keep the airways open. Surgery is also a treatment option for those who suffer long term and uncontrolled sleep apnea.
Ways in which sleep apnea can be fatal when treatment is not done:
Many times people take the diagnosis of sleep apnea light and take snoring as their simple day to day lifestyle habit. People don’t seem to realize the underlying health problem behind the diagnosis. In fact sleep apnea could be dangerous than thought and can affect the major organs and the general system of the body. The following are the ways in which it can affect people if treatment is not carried out at a sleep apnea clinic.
- Heart attack:
High blood pressure is one of the major risks of sleep apnea; this can, in turn, result in heart disease or even heart attack. It has been recorded that about 70 percent of the people with sleep apnea have high blood pressure. Also, the hypertension associated with sleep apnea is also tough to treat.
Stroke is a risky complication of sleep apnea. The correlation between stroke and sleep apnea is close to the correlation between stroke and smoking. The blood vessels in the brain dilate when the oxygen level falls during apnea resulting in a stroke.
- Abnormal heart rhythm:
Sleep apnea alters the normal rate and rhythm of the heart. It increases the heart rate along with increasing one’s blood pressure. When the person stops breathing at night, the heart rate will drop temporarily and quickly speeds up when one wakes up. Untreated sleep apnea results in atrial fibrillation.
Signs that one needs to consult a doctor include headaches, loud snoring, excessive sleeping in the day and waking up choking or gasping at night. Treat early and live a healthy life.