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What Happens When You Let Sleep Apnea Remain Untreated?

Posted on 11/7/2022 by Dr. Michael Han
What Happens When You Let Sleep Apnea Remain Untreated?Sleep apnea not only impacts the quality of life but also contributes to serious health issues if you don't address it. During sleep apnea attacks, the throat collapses and bars oxygen from reaching the upper airway. When this happens, the brain and lungs are deprived of oxygen.

People with sleep apnea have trouble sleeping because they wake up frequently gasping for air. They may find it difficult to get back to sleep. This disorder causes some serious health problems such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Three forms of sleep apnea exist with the first and most common one being obstructive sleep apnea. A patient with this apnea will have their airway blocked when the throat muscles relax and collapse while sleeping.

Another type referred to as central sleep apnea is a bit less common. It mainly occurs when your brain fails to provide proper signals to muscles responsible for breathing. The third type called complex sleep apnea is rarely common. In this type, the patient may have both central and obstructive apnea.

Problems With Untreated Sleep Apnea

If you let sleep apnea continue without treatment, it can be incredibly risky for your general health. Waking up repeatedly during the night causes too much stress on the body, creating a spike in hormones, which in turn, contribute to elevated blood pressure. Also, if have high blood pressure, having untreated apnea tends to worsen it.

Moreover, sleep apnea heightens the chances of a heart attack because both of these conditions have similar risk factors and causes. Besides, having insufficient oxygen to the heart coupled with increased stress due to lack of sleep may cause problems like palpitations, strokes, and heart attacks.

Having sleep apnea may make it hard for you to lose weight, leading to a myriad of problems. Last but not least, people with sleep apnea tend to have an increased susceptibility to type 2 diabetes. Contact us if you or a person you know has sleep apnea to determine the course of treatment to provide you.


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