Five Hidden Dangers of Sleep Apnea
25 million of adults in the USA suffer from OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea), and this is according to statistics from National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. American Journal of Epidemiology, on the other hand, puts the figures at 26 percent of the adult population (between 30 and 70 years).
Regardless of the data that one chooses to follow, the conclusion is that it is a serious ailment that afflicts millions of people across the world. The worst thing about sleep apnea is the fact that it has some hidden health dangers and the following are five of them that show the magnitude of the condition.
1. Heart problems and high blood pressure
According to studies, sleep apnea will not only increase the risk of getting recurrent heart attacks but might also give a person abnormal heartbeats. Many research findings also show that the sudden drop in the oxygen level in the blood strains the cardiovascular system and increases the blood pressure. Sleep apnea will also increase the likelihood of getting a stroke, and the episodes of fluctuating oxygen levels can even lead to sudden death due to irregular heartbeats.
2. Diabetes (type 2)
Statistics from the American Association of Diabetes show that more than 80% of people living with diabetes have obstructive sleep apnea. This reliable data indicates that there exists a very close relationship between diabetes and OSA. Although studies are yet to conclude how the two conditions relate, it is a fact that if a person does not sleep enough, the body will not utilize insulin well, and so they may end up getting diabetes.
3. Surgery and medication complications
People with sleep problems and other related conditions are more likely to experience surgery and medication complications. OSA is a significant concern and, in some cases, the doctors might be forced to adjust or change medicines for patients with sleep apnea. This condition also brings about breathing problems after sedation, and so it is vital for the doctor to know that the patient has sleep apnea before surgery.
4. Daytime fatigue
Sleep apnea makes uninterrupted sound sleep almost impossible, and people with the condition cannot rest for more than a couple of hours without waking up. Failure to get vital restorative sleep can have severe consequences. Daytime fatigue, drowsiness, and irritability will characterize the day for those suffering from this ailment. Difficulties in concentration and focusing are also common, and so the probability of accidents increases significantly.
5. Higher risk of gout
Gout is one of the latest proved additions to the many side effects of sleep apnea. It is a type of arthritis that comes with extreme inflammation, and in most instances, it targets the base of the big toe. A British study taken a couple of years ago found that people with OSA were 50% more likely to get gout than those that have no sleep predicaments. The findings are the same for everyone regardless of their age, gender and weight.
One can never overemphasize the importance of getting enough sleep every night because failure to do this has some severe health implications. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that shouldn’t be made light of, and anyone with the condition should seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid the adverse health consequences.