Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep problem, in which people experience obstructed breathing.
It occurs repeatedly for periods of 10 seconds or longer during sleep.
Recent research has shown that sleep disorder can do more than just disrupt sleep.
If left untreated, the condition can cause many health problems.
Anita Shelgikar, M.D. from the Michigan Medicine Alternatives to CPAP Clinic, provides important information about the harmful effects of sleep apnea.
According to her, sleep apnea can contribute to six big health risks:
Sleep apnea is a big risk factor for heart attack, stroke and blood clots in the legs.
High blood pressure
Untreated sleep apnea is linked to high blood pressure and may make it harder to control blood pressure with medication.
Sleep apnea can reduce the ability to think clearly, which leads to poor work performance and make people consume more caffeine and sugary foods.
Sleep apnea may make drivers excessively sleepy and cause them to fall asleep during driving the car. The risk of fatal car accidents in people with sleep apnea is much greater.
Mental health issues
Sleep apnea is linked to emotional disturbances and may increase the risk of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
Complications in surgery
Untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of airway obstructions, abnormal heart rhythms and other complications during surgery.
The researcher suggests that it is crucial to identify the problem.
Effective treatments of sleep apnea include a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to keep the throat from collapsing during sleep.
In addition, losing weight, changing sleeping position or taking surgery may help treat the condition.
It is important to see a sleep medicine physician if you have concerns about possible sleep apnea.
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