The Dangers of Uncontrolled Sleep Apnea Q&A
Untreated sleep apnea can be dangerous and lead to multiple illnesses such as depression, obesity, blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, memory issues, and much more. Contact our team of professionals at Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI.
Table of Contents:
What can happen if you let sleep apnea go untreated?
What is the most serious potential consequence of sleep apnea?
Can untreated sleep apnea cause brain damage?
How can sleep apnea cause metabolism issues?
When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to a variety of health issues, such as:
• Depression – Sleep apnea interferes with sleep and causes daytime fatigue and other symptoms that can aggravate depression.
• Weight gain – Obesity can worsen sleep apnea, which can create a vicious cycle of weight gain and sleep apnea.
• High blood pressure – A sudden drop in oxygen levels brought on by sleep apnea can raise blood pressure and put stress on the cardiovascular system.
• Heart disease – Sleep apnea has been associated with a higher risk of developing heart conditions such as irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, and heart failure.
• Stroke – People with sleep apnea are more likely to experience a stroke because their breathing is frequently interrupted, which disrupts blood flow to the brain.
• Type 2 diabetes – Sleep apnea and insulin resistance are linked. Therefore, sleep apnea can cause type 2 diabetes if left untreated.
• Immune system impairment – Sleep apnea can impair immunity, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections.
• Memory issues – Sleep apnea can impair cognitive performance and cause memory issues.
• Reduced quality of life – Sleep apnea can have a big impact on a person’s quality of life, as it causes symptoms like fatigue and irritability which make it difficult to perform daily tasks.
• Higher risk of accidents – Excessive daytime sleepiness caused by sleep apnea raises the chance of mishaps like car or workplace accidents.
The most serious potential consequence of sleep apnea is death. The pauses in breathing brought on by sleep apnea can cause the blood’s oxygen level to drop, which can have detrimental effects on your overall health.
High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are just a few of the health issues that can result from sleep apnea. Lack of oxygen can sometimes lead to sudden cardiac arrest, a condition in which the heart abruptly stops beating. Sudden cardiac arrest is often fatal if it is not treated immediately.
Additionally, due to symptoms such as daytime sleepiness and fatigue, sleep apnea has been associated with a higher risk of car and workplace accidents. Such accidents may result in serious injuries or fatalities.
Due to a lack of oxygen to the brain while you sleep, sleep apnea can also result in brain damage and memory loss in addition to the more well-known risks such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
The brain can become damaged if it isn’t getting enough oxygen. Sleep apnea has been linked to structural changes in the brain, especially in regions involved in memory and cognitive function, according to numerous studies. Research has found that sleep apnea can eventually lead to cognitive decline, memory loss, and attention problems. In extreme circumstances, dementia may onset as a result of the brain damage brought on by sleep apnea.
Fortunately, sleep apnea-related brain damage can be reversed with the right treatment. If you have or suspect you have sleep apnea, it is important to discuss your symptoms with a sleep disorder specialist to receive care and resources to manage the condition. Early treatment results in the highest chances of full recovery.
Yes, there are several ways in which sleep apnea negatively affects the metabolism. One of the main ways is by interfering with the body’s normal hormonal balance. An individual with sleep apnea commonly experiences nighttime awakenings, which affects the production and regulation of specific hormones that control appetite, metabolism, and blood sugar levels.
Additionally, sleep apnea can cause chronic inflammation in the body. Insulin resistance, obesity, and type 2 diabetes are just a few of the metabolic disorders that have been linked to chronic inflammation. Inflammation can also alter how the body uses and stores fat, which can further contribute to metabolic problems.