The Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea


obstructive sleep apnea

(OSA) can have serious consequences for your health. It increases the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), recurrent heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heartbeats, such as atrial fibrillation. OSA can also cause sleep interruptions, such as having to get up to go to the bathroom, which is especially common in older patients. Studies have found that the resulting apnea can cause an increase in blood sugar, heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones - a response similar to what might occur if you were asked to stand in front of a crowd to talk.Whether or not you need treatment for sleep apnea depends on how severe it is and whether or not you have symptoms such as drowsiness and other health problems.

Treatment options include stimulating the hypoglossal nerve to recruit the protrusion of the tongue in order to maintain airway permeability during sleep and, at the same time, ensure synchrony with respiratory effort. If a patient's partner refuses to be evaluated despite showing signs of sleep apnea, I usually urge the patient to take them with her to the next appointment with me. It is therefore vital to identify and treat patients with sleep apnea who have not yet been diagnosed.Untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of airway blockages, abnormal heart rhythms, and other complications during surgery. Unsupervised portable home sleep tests are being used with increasing frequency, although polysomnography (PSG) tests that last all night are still considered the reference standard for the evaluation of OSA.

Untreated sleep apnea is associated with high blood pressure and can make it difficult to control blood pressure with medications. Weight begins to accumulate in traditionally “masculine” areas, such as the belly, which increases the chances of suffering from sleep apnea.To reduce the risk of sleep interruptions due to pets, I recommend that you stop sharing a bed with your pets and keep them two closed doors away from the room. The Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study is a historic study that evaluated the prevalence of sleep apnea among state employees. While you might think that sleeping more than usual would make a person feel well rested, sleeping 2 to 3 hours more may cause a person to feel lightheaded and less rested.

As women begin to outperform men in apnea rates after menopause, it's time to pay attention to the risks of untreated sleep apnea.

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