The Effects and Danger of Untreated Sleep Apnea

The Effects and Danger of Untreated Sleep Apnea

February 5, 2021

Are you finding yourself restlessly shifting in bed every night? Do you wake up feeling persistently fatigued, enduring a groggy haze throughout the day? You might be grappling with sleep apnea, a condition whose repercussions extend far beyond a mere night of disrupted sleep. Left untreated, sleep apnea can inflict lasting damage on your body, necessitating a considerable amount of time to rectify. How can you identify the presence of sleep apnea? Let’s delve into understanding this condition and the potential harm it poses when neglected.

Decoding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea induces excessive muscle relaxation during sleep, often obstructing the airways and prompting frequent awakenings. Even if you manage to sleep through the night, the condition may manifest in snoring or choking sounds. These consequences should prompt individuals to take charge of untreated sleep apnea. For a more comprehensive understanding, let’s explore the various detrimental effects associated with this condition.

Consequences Unveiled

1. High Blood Pressure

Untreated sleep apnea has a significant association with high blood pressure, contributing to persistent tension and anxiety long after waking up. Nocturnal awakenings induce stress, leading to fluctuations in hormone and oxygen levels, catapulting blood pressure to alarming levels. This cyclic pattern takes a toll on the body over an extended period.

2. Weight Gain

An intricate relationship exists between untreated sleep apnea and weight gain. The stress induced by poor sleep patterns prompts the body to retain stored energy, exacerbating fatigue and diminishing the motivation to adhere to weight loss routines. Hormonal imbalances also intensify cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, further complicating the condition. As weight accumulates, sleep apnea tends to worsen, creating a detrimental cycle that may serve as a catalyst for seeking treatment.

3. Acid Reflux

Beyond diet and exercise, sleep plays a pivotal role in weight management. However, untreated sleep apnea can lead to acid reflux , a co-occurring condition that often accompanies this sleep disorder. Addressing both issues concurrently, rather than in isolation, is crucial for effective resolution, warranting consultation with both a general practitioner and a dentist in Oak Lawn, IL.

4. Heart Disease

Individuals with sleep apnea face an elevated risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke, especially during nocturnal hours. The compromised airways restrict oxygen intake, reaching a point where minimal or no oxygen penetrates. This not only triggers subtle symptoms like snoring and coughing but can escalate to severe manifestations of heart disease. The risk extends beyond bedtime, influencing the body’s stress levels and oxygen availability throughout the day, potentially inducing panic in the heart.

5. Loss of Proper Mental Functions

Speaking of the trouble the brain and heart have when oxygen is limited, let’s talk about the mental effects of poor sleep. Regular sleep is vital to good health in your mind and body. When sleep apnea disrupts your routine, you may feel the emotional and mental tolls before your body shows the symptoms mentioned above. Here are a few ways untreated sleep apnea can harm your mental functions:

Poor Memory –  Fatigue diminishes mental alertness, impairing the processing and retention of information. As sleep apnea worsens, the ability to recall and recognize facts diminishes.

Mood Swings –  Emotional reactions to poor sleep include stress, irritability, anxiety, and even depression. The latter, though surprising, is not uncommon in cases of persistent sleep deprivation.:

Mental Disorders – Prolonged sleep disruptions may lead to conditions such as insomnia, requiring a combination of behavioral therapy and medical interventions for correction. Proactively addressing sleep apnea can prevent the escalation of these mental health challenges.

Resolving Untreated Sleep Apnea

Swap your restless nights for rejuvenating slumber by addressing sleep apnea. If unsure about the approach, consider the efficacy of oral appliance therapy administered by dentists. Seeking timely intervention, such as the services provided by Forrest Tower, DDS, can reignite the joy of restful sleep. Don’t let untreated sleep apnea dictate your well-being; take the first step towards reclaiming your peaceful nights.

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