Home » What Can Happen If Sleep Apnea Is Left Untreated?
If you suspect you or a loved one has sleep apnea, then it’s really important to see a professional about it soon. The sooner the better, as the condition can lead to serious complications if it’s left untreated, and sometimes these complications can be life-threatening. Reach out to us today or read on to learn about sleep apnea, its effects, and what you should do about it.
How can I tell if I have sleep apnea?
It’s true that sleep apnea can be serious, possibly leading to behavioral issues in children or even fatal health conditions in adults, like heart disease. You’ll be relieved to hear, though, that sleep apnea is treatable. It’s important to treat it as soon as you start noticing the signs or symptoms.
If you believe you may have sleep apnea, it can be difficult to tell, as the signs and symptoms reveal themselves during sleep. A sleep partner may be able to identify certain signs and symptoms for you, though. You might have noticed the signs and symptoms in a loved one, and maybe it’s that person you’re concerned about. Here’s what to watch out for:
- Repeated stopping and restarting of breathing at night
- Regularly waking up throughout the night
- Sometimes waking up feeling as though one is gasping or choking
- Often waking up feeling exhausted even after seemingly sleeping well
- Often snoring loudly at night
- Often sleeping restlessly
- Regular insomnia
- Other signs and symptoms like a decreased sex drive, headaches, or moodiness
So what can happen if sleep apnea is left untreated?
To some people, sleep apnea might not seem like a big deal because their symptoms don’t seem so serious. However, sleep apnea and its symptoms can worsen and lead to some very serious behavioral and health issues like:
- Learning problems, hyperactivity, and/or developmental issues in children
- Worsening of ADHD
- Memory problems
- Weight gain
- Falling asleep while driving, and/or job impairment
- High blood pressure, heart disease, and/or heart attack
As you can tell, many of the issues above are quite serious. Some can affect children significantly and result in complications in adulthood. Some other issues, like heart-related issues, can be fatal. This is why it can be vital to treat sleep apnea as soon as you notice the signs or symptoms.
How is sleep apnea treated?
To determine whether a patient has sleep apnea, a professional can provide a sleep study or other tests. As for treatment, it’s common for sleep apnea to be treated with CPAP therapy (with a CPAP breathing machine), but for many patients, this treatment is inconvenient and uncomfortable. For these patients, oral appliance therapy is the better option as it’s easy and comfortable. Oral appliance therapy is proven to work in many cases and approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. We provide the treatment here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders!
Do you treat sleep apnea at a sleep clinic near me?
Yes, we do! Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders has many locations throughout Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. If you believe you or a loved one has sleep apnea, then it really is important to get professional care very soon. Call us today at (855) 977-0400 or book a consultation with us on our Appointments page. We hope we hear from you soon!