What happens with untreated sleep apnea?
Sleep Apnea is one of the most serious sleeping disorders as the breathing of an individual stops and then starts again while he is sleeping. It can include common symptoms like loud snoring; loud choking noise and feeling tired the next day even after taking 7 or more hours of sleep. The person who suffers through sleep apnea is mostly unaware of this problem as when the breathing stops the sleeper does not know of this even if it is for a period of few seconds or even a minute. However, if sleep apnea is not treated at the right time then it can result in heart disease, high blood pressure or even accidents while the person suffering from sleep apnea is driving a car.
What happens with untreated sleep apnea?
People who suffer through sleep apnea are often unaware of it unless and until they suddenly doze off while they are driving or trying to concentrate on anything. It can be very dangerous as it can result in dangerous and seriously fatal accidents. It is very important to start the treatment that is devised for sleep apnea as soon as someone is diagnosed with it. In the case of untreated sleep apnea, it can result in the following serious conditions.
- Untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure that can be very dangerous especially if the person is sleeping.
- It can also result in irregular heartbeats that can eventually lead to a heart attack or heart failure.
- People who have sleep apnea feel tired even having an ample amount of sleep, which can often result in frequent headaches the next morning when they wake up.
- When people feel tired even after taking rest the night before often feel stressed out or depressed the next day.
- It can lead to the worsening of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. If anyone is suffering through sleep apnea they are distracted as it becomes difficult for them to concentrate and pay attention to things that need attention.
- It can also lead to diabetes because of the stress that comes along with sleep apnea.
- People who are overweight develop sleep apnea but they are also at a greater risk of gaining more weight because this disorder makes it difficult for people to shed their extra kilograms.
- Having a disorder as serious as sleep apnea can result in car accidents, therefore people who are diagnosed with this disorder should avoid driving as much as they can especially somewhere near their sleeping hours.
People who notice changes in their sleeping pattern and if your partner complains of loud snoring or choking noises at night then you should consider visiting a professionally trained doctor. It is better to start your treatment as soon as possible rather than delaying it because it can result in long-lasting problems. Look for sleep apnea symptoms if you are not sure whether you have sleep apnea or not. Share the symptoms with your doctor in order to get proper diagnoses with the best treatment.
Types of Sleep Apnea
When a person is suffering through sleep apnea, his body and brain are not getting enough oxygen. There are two types of sleep apnea.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea – obstructive sleep apnea or OSA occurs through the blockage in the airway the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses or relaxes during sleep.
- Central Sleep Apnea – Central sleep apnea or CSA is when there is instability in the respiratory system due to which the brain is unable to give signals to the muscles that control the breathing process.
Risk Factors associated with Sleep Apnea
Children, adults or old people, anyone can be affected by sleep apnea. However, certain risk factors can put the following people at greater risk:
- Males are at a greater risk of being diagnosed with sleep apnea as compared to women.
- People who are overweight and obese are most commonly diagnosed with sleep apnea as they are unable to maintain their overall health.
- The neck size of male and female also plays a vital part in developing a problem as serious as sleep apnea. Men who have a neck as long as 17 inches and women who have 16 inches long neck are more likely to develop this disorder.
- Family history can also determine the chances of developing sleep apnea later on in life.
Treatments for Sleep Apnea
Treatments include the following:
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy or CPAP focuses on keeping the airway open with the help of a pressure mask.
- Surgery – surgery can help widen the airway that creates difficulty in breathing.
- Mandibular Repositioning Device (MRD) – it is a mouthpiece that is worn on the mouth to widen the space that exists between the tongue and the jaw.
However, it is very important to make a few lifestyle changes as they can have a very strong impact on this disorder. People who suffer from this disorder should focus on their weight. They should work on reducing their weight as being overweight can cause a lot of problems in the future as well.
Moreover, drinking alcohol or smoking should be avoided as much as possible. People who have sleep apnea should sleep on their side rather than sleeping straight with their face facing towards the ceiling.
Sleep apnea should not be left untreated, as it can be dangerous. It can lead to life-threatening problems like stroke, high blood pressure or even serious and fatal car accidents. There are various ways to treat sleep apnea but all the treatments have one goal and that is to normalize the patterns of breathing while the patient is sleeping. When the breathing pattern is normalized, the patients suffering from sleep apnea are likely to feel more relaxed the next day rather than feeling tired. It also helps prevent serious diseases like cardiovascular disease.