Sleep apnea is a hazardous sleep disorder that often leads to breathing problems during sleep. The dominant symptoms of sleep apnea are pauses in breathing, which occurs many times at night and snoring. Most of you think that healthy diet and regular exercises are the most vital things when it comes to promoting cardiovascular health. Well, this is undoubtedly true, but it is also imperative to note that the quality of your sleep is also crucial to your heart’s health. When sleep apnea goes untreated, it can lead to numerous health problems such as glaucoma, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes among other conditions.
Signs of sleep apnea
- People who suffer from sleep apnea probably fail to realize the signs they are experiencing, and most times, your partner is the one who is going to notice. Some of the probable signs of sleep apnea include:
- Mood swings and fatigue, mainly caused by interruptions in breathing
- Snoring is another common sign, although it does not necessarily mean that people who snore while sleeping are suffering from sleep apnea
- Lost productivity at work due to lack of enough sleep at night
- Dry mouth
- Constant headaches caused by low oxygen during sleep
Health problems associated with undiagnosed sleep apnea
When sleep apnea takes control of your body, it can often lead to many serious physical, cognitive, and emotional health problems like heart attacks. Obesity is renowned for being a primary culprit behind sleep apnea; for instance, people who are obese tend to suffer more from sleep apnea disorder. This is because the brain is instigated to increase the heart rate and blood pressure level.
Frequent increase in heart rates and blood pressure leads to inflammation, which contributes to atherosclerosis. The condition puts a strain on the cardiovascular muscles, which increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. Another category of people who are prone to sleep apnea disorder are those who accumulate considerable amounts of fats in the upper belly, tongue, and neck regions. The weight narrows the diameter of the throat or perhaps the neck, causing airway collapse during sleep.
Other health conditions caused by untreated sleep apnea that you should be wary of include;
- per-eclampsia and gestational diabetes which might occur during pregnancy
- Liver damage at worse situations
- Glaucoma due to low oxygen in the optic nerve
Sleep apnea is rampant among women in their premenopausal stage. Most at times, women in this stage tend to gain a lot of weight in the hips region, but with time, things change. They commence accumulating weight on the belly region, leading to an increased risk of developing sleep apnea.
Diagnosing sleep apnea with an ENT sleep apnea specialist in the early stages is quite essential to avoid the health complications that comes with it. While there are some deaths connected with sleep apnea, researchers say that actual risk is from damage done over time. Treatments for sleep apnea rely heavily on the severity of the attacks, and the primary therapy options for most patients is the use of a breathing device (CPAP).