Sleep apnea isn't just snoring! When you suffer from sleep apnea, you experience frequent pauses in your breathing while you are asleep; in short, you’re having short bouts of suffocation. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to a range of serious health problems.
If you suffer from sleep apnea you face increased risk of developing a range of physical health problems. These health problems include an increased risk for conditions such as: high blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heartbeat, stroke, heart attack, and type 2 diabetes.
The pauses in breathing caused by sleep apnea cause the sufferer wake up frequently in the night. This prevents sufferers from getting the amount or quality of sleep they really need. Insufficient sleep is linked to a higher risk of depression and anxiety. Studies show that those who have sleep apnea are more likely to experience these mental health issues than those without sleep apnea.
Quality of Life
Sleep apnea can have significant negative impacts on daily life. Sufferers often feel exhausted, short tempered and listless, and have trouble concentrating on tasks.
Also, sleep apnea can negatively affect patients’ relationships. Not only, are their own personalities affected by sleep apnea, but their sleep partners will also likely be getting less sleep because of the snoring. This can result in greater stress and tension within the relationship.
Lack of sleep and lack of oxygen to the brain that sleep apnea entails can mean serious problems for memory.
Sleep apnea has been linked to a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Studies show that people with sleep disordered breathing (like sleep apnea) experience earlier onset of mild cognitive impairment compared to the general population. That means that the forgetfulness we associate with old age starts sooner in life for individuals suffering from sleep disordered breathing.
The inconvenience of sleep apnea testing and treatment is worth it for all the health issues you may be able to avoid. If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, do yourself and your family a favour, and get yourself assessed.