How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Your Health?
The link between sleep apnea and serious health conditions has been well established. Sleep apnea robs the body of quality uninterrupted sleep, which it needs to function properly. When breathing stops, sometimes hundreds of times per night, it puts a stress on the body, which takes a toll on personal health in a number of ways. If left untreated, sleep apnea raises the risk of potentially life-threatening conditions. It is also important to consider that, in an indirect way, sleep apnea puts others at risk, making it a public safety issue. Let’s take a look at the potential effects of sleep apnea:
Each episode of sleep apnea puts significant stress on your body’s vital organs. The most important of these is the heart. Sleep apnea is a prominent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. People with sleep apnea have higher blood pressure and are more likely to develop congestive heart failure. Evidence shows that sleep apnea contributes to the development of coronary artery disease. It also causes abnormal heart rhythms, and can exacerbate pre-existing heart disease. Left untreated, sleep apnea is linked to a high risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Sleep apnea has been linked to many other serious and chronic health ailments, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Depression and mood disorders
- Weight gain and obesity
- Liver problems (such as fatty liver and scarring)
Because of the stress sleep apnea puts on the body, it is not surprising that several studies have shown a link between sleep apnea and higher likelihood of premature death (mostly due to cardiovascular disease).
Excessive Sleepiness Affects Cognitive Function
When sleep is severely disrupted, it is common to feel excessively tired during the daytime. Suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness or drowsiness makes it difficult to perform necessary daily tasks. Work performance and productivity drop, due to worker fatigue.
Being chronically tired can also negatively affect cognitive function. People with sleep apnea often struggle with concentration, memory, listening, problem solving and decision-making. Some report having trouble managing stress and even relating to others. Sleep apnea can put a strain on interpersonal relationships.
Sleepiness Raises Risk of Motor Vehicle and Work Accidents
People with untreated sleep apnea are six times more likely to nod off while driving and cause a motor vehicle accident. Nearly 20 percent of serious car accident-related injuries are linked to driver fatigue.
Sleep apnea is also dangerous for people that work physically demanding jobs, such as operating heavy machinery. Lack of sleep raises the risk of causing an accident. This is not only a threat to the worker but also to coworkers and people nearby.
New Jersey Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Treating sleep apnea not only improves your quality of sleep and boosts your energy levels, but it can improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. Treating sleep apnea can add years to your life!
Contact a sleep specialist for a complete evaluation and diagnosis or call New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions for a free consultation. Once your sleep apnea has been confirmed, the team at New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions will work hand in hand with you and the Sleep Specialist to explore your treatment options. Contact us today at (855) WHY-SNORE or (855) 949-7667.