Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which is grossly under diagnosed, but its effects are often quite severe, life changing, and even life threatening. It’s nothing to be dismissed lightly, and it’s much more serious than simple snoring, as some may have been misled to believe.
Many experts in the field say that it’s reaching epidemic proportions (1 in 4), especially with the aging of our population along with skyrocketing obesity rates (both key contributing factors in this disorder). In order to better understand the dangers of sleep apnea and its effects, let’s explore some ways in which this sleep condition can affect us.
Major Dangers of Sleep Apnea
As if it wasn’t enough, that many of us eat poorly and get little exercise. If we also have a sleep apnea (and don’t have it treated properly), then our hearts are in big trouble from the dangers of sleep apnea.
In one study conducted recently in Spain it was found that men with sleep apnea are three times more likely to have a heart attack than men who do not suffer from this disorder. They are also at a very high risk for cardiovascular disease and are much more likely to die from a heart attack in their sleep, as should come as no surprise.
There are indeed many dangers of sleep apnea; some life threatening, and many others that greatly decrease our quality of life in so many different ways that it’s almost too difficult to fathom.
Imagine a life in which you’re always tired, your memory is extraordinarily dull and getting things done is extremely difficult because you’re suffering from unexplainable fatigue all day long. A person who has moderate to severe sleep apnea must endure this type of living condition on a daily basis and even simple tasks become a huge struggle. Although this disorder often times gets associated with simple snoring, it should now be obvious that is so much more to the dangers of sleep apnea than something that merely disturbs other’s sleep. Many people that suffer will do poorly in school, perform poorly on the job, and live a very low quality of life.
One of the greatest dangers of sleep apnea is that it so often goes unnoticed as the real cause of all this pain and misery. People dismiss it, or they may label themselves as lazy or stupid, or even allow other people to label them. But being labeled lazy or stupid is not where the danger ends either.
In the most severe cases of dangers of sleep apnea a person’s brain can lose up to 20% of its tissue. This type of brain tissue loss is extremely impairing to our cognitive functioning and ability to participate in the world as full human beings.
When are brain is choked off of life giving oxygen and is not able to fully rest, the chances of developing serious anxiety and/or depression is extremely high. Constant restless, interrupted sleep and severe mood disorders walk hand in hand.
People that are overweight are more susceptible toward the dangers of sleep apnea. What’s worse is that having the condition leads to insulin resistance which in turn keeps this nightmarish cycle in motion. In fact, many people with a sleep apnea will also get type 2 diabetes.
The many dangers of sleep apnea should be extremely apparent, if there are the slightest signs of this sleep disorder it’s imperative that the individual see a physician for testing immediately and without delay.