What are the Risks of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea Specialist | Serving Vancouver WA and Portland OR
The most common form of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This is an upper respiratory condition that occurs during sleep when someone’s intake of oxygen is reduced or closed off. OSA interruptions during the sleep cycle can occur from a few times to as many as several hundred times and they can last from a few seconds to a minute or more.
OSA often occurs when the muscles in the tongue, in the soft palate within the roof the mouth, the tonsils, and in the uvula (the small hanging tissue at the back of the mouth), relax and shift backwards towards the throat. This causes an airway blockage that can create, or increase already known, serious health problems. Anyone who suspects that they may have OSA should talk with their physician about a sleep apnea test. There is a variety of common sleep apnea risks that people need to understand and a variety of potential sleep apnea side effects that individuals can learn to recognize.
Sleep Apnea Risks – Is Treating Sleep Apnea Important?
Getting a good night’s sleep is necessary for a person’s psychological abilities and for restoring the body’s physical abilities. Continuous sleep cycle interruptions increase someone’s chances of developing sleep apnea risks that in may include:
- Heart situations such as a heart attack, a stroke, and high blood pressure
- Lung conditions such as pulmonary hypertension
- Mental problems such as insomnia, mood swings, headaches, and slow thought processing
- Dry mouth or sore throat
- Acid reflux issues
- High cholesterol levels due to hypothyroidism
Sleep Apnea Side Effects
If left untreated, a person with OSA may experience one or more of these serious sleep apnea side effects:
- Problems with diabetes control
- Accident prone due to lack of sleep and inability to concentrate while driving, working, or performing daily activities
- Fatal disabilities or even death can occur due to reduced or blocked intake of vital oxygen levels
Not all sleep disorders are OSA, but when it is OSA, a person’s mental and physical health may be at risk, and that alone is why treating sleep apnea is important.