Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by repeatedly disrupted and paused breathing. Sleep apnea is brought about by the collapse of the soft tissue at the back of your throat (obstructive sleep apnea) or if your brain fails to regulate your breathing correctly as you sleep (central apnea). This creates an oxygen debt, and as a means of survival, reflex forces you to wake up and breathe, interrupting your sleep cycle.
This sleep disorder affects millions of people globally; some might not even know they suffer from one form or the other of sleep apnea.
One of the surest ways to tell whether you need to seek sleep apnea treatment is if you usually wake up feeling fatigued even after a good night’s sleep. This is because sleep apnea affects the quality of sleep you get every night, negatively impacting your productivity during the day.
Left unchecked and untreated, sleep apnea, over time, can lead to more serious health complications. This is why you need to get sleep apnea treatment. Apart from affecting your daily productivity, sleep apnea can also affect your overall health in several ways.
The myriad health complications linked to sleep apnea range from heart disease and diabetes to depression and mental confusion.
In this article, we see how sleep apnea impacts your overall health.
Several health issues and diseases can be linked to sleep apnea. Our sleep apnea doctor encourages patients to undergo treatment once they have been diagnosed with sleep apnea because of the many health implications of untreated sleep apnea.
When coupled with a lack of sleep and constant fatigue, this sleep disorder can wreak havoc and cause an imbalance in several systems within your body. Some of the body systems that are negatively impacted by sleep apnea include:
Individuals suffering from sleep apnea have been seen to develop insulin resistance. It is a condition that makes the body cells fail to take in insulin as they should, this forces your blood sugar level to elevate, and at this point, you can end up developing type 2 diabetes.
Apart from this, sleep apnea can also lead to the development of metabolic syndrome that brings about the occurrence of conditions such as hypertension, high blood sugar levels, etc., all of which increase your chances of getting heart disease.
Sleep apnea has been shown to increase the chances of individuals suffering from heart conditions that can be life-threatening. This is because this sleep disorder promotes the development of diseases such as high blood pressure and obesity that strain the heart and cardiovascular system.
Some of the cardiovascular issues that may arise due to sleep apnea are:
This life-threatening arrhythmia disrupts the proper flow of blood through the upper left heart chamber. Arterial fibrillation can cause the formation of blood clots that can travel directly to the brain resulting in a stroke.
Sleep apnea can increase pressure within the blood vessels in your heart chambers or its surroundings. This pressure tends to strain your heart and can cause severe damage to your heart muscle, putting you at risk of heart failure.
Sleep apnea can bring about heart arrhythmias, some of which can be so intensive that they force your heart to stop beating. This can lead to sudden cardiac death.
This sleep disorder can bring about liver damage and disease because it has been linked to liver-related conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and liver scarring. Sleep apnea can also cause other digestive system conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Sleep apnea primarily affects your breathing during sleep; this means that your body is deprived of oxygen whenever you sleep. This deprivation can make respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease flare up or worsen. This will affect your breathing even as you carry out your daily tasks.
Central sleep apnea can bring about the development of neurological conditions such as numbness.
Apart from affecting your overall health, sleep apnea can also affect your mental health. Sleep deprivation can bring about mental health issues such as memory loss, decreased mental acuity, and depression.
Sleep apnea greatly impacts the quality of life you live and your productivity. This is why you must visit our sleep clinic near you for sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment.
Contact our sleep apnea doctor today at Palmetto Sleep for your customized sleep apnea treatment.