Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder viewed by many as something minor and not much to worry about. But when you look beneath the surface and ask what does sleep apnea cause, astonishing details are revealed. As a result, in the past few years, this myth has been busted. And sleep apnea has become a widely popular topic. Why? Because of what life-threatening diseases it can cause or worsen.
However, there is so much more work to be done in spreading the word. In this article, we are going to go over some of the disorders that can manifest because of sleep apnea and how ignoring the signs and symptoms can cause more harm. You will learn how to recognize these symptoms and what you can do to get treated.
Sound good? Great… Let’s get started.
Sleep Apnea and Common Disorders It Can Cause
There are over 800 sleep disorders, but sleep apnea is the one more common in the United States. And has become a significant reason for health issues. It’s been confirmed that over 22 million Americans grapple with sleep apnea every night.
About 1 out of every 12 Americans suffer and are inadvertently encouraging future healthcare complications because of sleep apnea when it’s left undiagnosed and treated. And sadly, undiagnosed sleep apnea is the truth for 80% of cases.
So how do you avoid falling victim to perpetual healthcare decline from sleep apnea? You do so, by becoming aware and following the steps to get diagnosed and then treated by a sleep study doctor such Dr. Levy of Sleep Better Columbus. After all, if you suffer from sleep apnea you want someone who can improve your quality of life quickly and make things comfortable for you.
Common Disorders Sleep Apnea Promotes
Asking what does sleep apnea cause, but the greatest minds in sleep medicine to work. It’s only when the right questions are asked that the solution of the best treatment for a problem gets solved. Here is a list of the most common diseases affiliated with sleep apnea.
- High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
- Chronic Heart Failure (CHF)
- Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
- Stroke (loss of blood flow to the brain)
- Type-2 Diabetes
- Liver Problems
- Excessive Day Time Fatigue
As you can see, the list above is filled with serious life-threatening conditions and can cause life long consequences if discovered too late.
For example, how much would your life change if you fell asleep at the wheel? Or you drifted off to sleep as you were cooking something on the stove? These mistakes happen every single day because of sleep apnea. If you experienced either one these, how would your life be different?
When you are already suffering from a disease or disorder like chronic heart failure obstructive sleep apnea will make it significantly worse. See when you fail to breathe as you sleep, you cause your co2 (aka) carbon monoxide to build up in your blood. As you breathe regularly moving oxygen and co2 in and out of your body you naturally retain some co2. But people who have sleep apnea have less oxygen in their blood and higher co2 levels.
This creates your blood to become thicker and also stunt the receptors in your body that tell your brain to breathe when sleeping. This causes more stress on the heart to work harder and harder, attempting to bring back homeostasis. Unfortunately without treatment of your sleep apnea, you remain in a vicious cycle of deterioration.
The only way to fix it is with help from a sleep doctor who can properly treat your individual case with the right positive pressure treatment or oral appliance treatment. It all depends on your type of sleep apnea.
This is only one case study of a worsening disorder. There are several outcomes base on the disease that sleep apnea can worsen.
Common Risk Factors To Sleep Apnea
Gender – Middle-aged and older men are more likely to acquire sleep apnea. Sleeping disorder breathing affects almost 50% of men and only 24% of women.
Note: Smoking drastically increases the risk of sleep apnea regardless of gender.
Obesity – There is a relationship between sleep apnea and obesity in around 60% of the cases that are diagnosed. Having a thicker neck because of larger fat deposits will instantly cause an increased risk of obstructing your airway.
Narrow airway – Conversely, being born with or having been in an accident that decreases your airway circumference, will also increase your risk for OSA.
Substance abuse – Using any sedatives or narcotics that impair the nervous system will increase your chances of sleep apnea, more so for CSA (Central Sleep Apnea). You must be careful when taking medications prescribed and know how your body will react.
Stroke – As we mentioned earlier, sleep apnea can cause a stroke. However, if you have already suffered from a stroke you are at a higher risk of acquiring this chronic disorder.
Having a family history – At times you will be predisposed to sleep apnea because it runs in your family. This doesn’t mean you’re destined for sleep apnea, it only means you must be vigilant in your awareness of how you are feeling. And paying attention to the symptoms of sleep apnea presents.
Knowing what sleep apnea causes is part of the puzzle when piecing together the treatment and management of sleep apnea. Knowing how to pay attention to how you feel is also important. Here are some of the most common symptoms you can look out for – in your behavior or those close to you.
- Snoring loudly
- Chronic morning headaches
- Waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air
- Holding your breath in your sleep (observed by someone else)
- Lack of focus while awake
- Insomnia (or waking up multiple times throughout the night)
- When you wake up you have extremely dry mouth
- Exhaustion throughout the day
These are some common symptoms of sleep apnea. And ones to pay attention too for signs you may need to see a sleep study specialist like Dr. Levy from Sleep Better Columbus.
By now we don’t have to convince you that your sleep health is a necessity for a safe and happy life. Dr. Levy has treated hundreds of patients suffering from sleep apnea. He uses sleep study methods that help diagnose your sleep apnea is a comfortable way. Then afterward sit’s down with you and discuss your best options on treatment.
You may need an affordable state of the art CPAP device, or you may decide to use an oral appliance. You see, with the oral appliance you are fitted for a mouthpiece that can make sleep apnea treatment a breeze. Let our professional team help you with your diagnosis and treatment to ensure you live a long and healthy life.