We often encounter patients who are unaware of the serious consequences of untreated sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep, leading to a poor quality of sleep. This can results in several adverse effects on a person’s physical and mental health.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can significantly increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Studies have shown that people with sleep apnea have 3-4 times higher risk of heart disease compared to those who don’t have this condition.
Another concerning aspect of sleep apnea is the impact it has on a person’s cognitive function. Sleep apnea can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, lethargy, and fatigue, which can impair one’s ability to concentrate, think clearly, and function effectively.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
The most noticeable warning sign of sleep apnea is loud snoring, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Other warning signs may include waking up with a headache, dry mouth, or sore throat, feeling restless or irritable, and frequent urination during the night.
Fortunately, sleep apnea can be treated effectively through various methods, including continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliances, lifestyle changes, and surgery (depending on the severity of the condition).
Benefits of Sleep Apnea Therapies
Treating sleep apnea can lead to significant improvements in one’s overall health and well-being. The risks of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes decrease by as much as half when sleep apnea is properly managed.
Furthermore, treating sleep apnea can also result in improved cognitive function, increased energy levels, and better quality of life overall. It is essential to seek help if you suspect you or a loved one may suffer from this condition.
Don’t ignore sleep apnea.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to severe health problems and even death. As a sleep doctor, I encourage anyone experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea to seek medical advice without delay. The sooner you receive a diagnosis and treatment, the better your chances of improving your health and quality of life.