11 Serious Side Effects of Sleep Apnea

sleep apnea side effects

The most common among these is the obstructive type. Apnea occurs when the airway gets blocked, which pauses breathing and causes loud snoring. You will not realize that you are suffering from the problem unless someone prompts you about it. It is common for a person suffering from sleep apnea to feel self conscious. But it is a rather serious matter that needs medical attention. Here we will discuss some of the side effects of sleep apnea.

11 Sleep Apnea Side Effects

1. Fatigue

This is understandably the most obvious side effect you are bound to have if you are suffering from sleep apnea. Irritability, daytime drowsiness difficulty in concentrating in the most common of tasks, falling asleep at work all come in together. You also run a risk of accidents. The fatigue also affects your mood. You become short tempered, moody and depressed. Children with sleep apnea show behavioral problems.

2. High Blood Pressure

Due to sleep apnea there are sudden drops in oxygen supply in the blood. This increases the blood pressure and puts strain on the cardiovascular system. Your chances of acquiring high blood pressure will be more if you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.

3. Heart Problems

Obstructive sleep apnea proves to be dangerous for the heart. It increases the chances of a stroke, recurrent heart attack, abnormal heart beats, atrial fibrillation etc… These problems are caused due to low blood oxygen and in severe cases it may even lead to death.

4. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is common among those suffering from sleep apnea. You are more prone to be affected by diabetes so you must go to the doctor before your health is seriously affected.

5. Metabolic Syndrome

A number of conditions together make up the metabolic syndrome, namely, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, high blood sugar and an increased waist circumference. All these conditions are the simultaneous result of sleep apnea. If you realize that you are suffering from it then consult your doctor immediately.

6. Liver Problems

People suffering from sleep apnea are affected by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which is a condition of liver scarring and can lead to serious liver damage if proper examination is not done and medication is not taken.

7. Sleep Deprived Partners

You are not the only one suffering the terrible consequences of sleep apnea but your partners are suffering as well. Your loud snores are most likely to snatch away their required good night’s sleep. They are most likely to remain as sleep deprived as you are if not more.

8. Forgetfulness

Your lack of good sleep affects your concentration; coordination, memory, and mood suffer. You are most likely to forget important matters, dates, studies, etc… and your overall performance is likely to suffer in the long run.

9. Headaches

Sleep apnea obstructs the airway, and increases carbon monoxide in the blood stream.  The headaches occur on both sides of the head instead of just on one side. The headaches are not persistent and go away as you wake up. This is because the lungs can now draw as much oxygen as it requires which brings down the level of carbon dioxide in the blood.

10. Hypertension

About 50% of those suffering from sleep apnea suffer from hypertension. This results from high blood pressure which is also common among apnea patients. Sometimes the presence of hypertension in a person is the only clue that the person is suffering from sleep apnea. The situation can only be controlled by proper treatment of sleep apnea.

11. Premature Death

Sleep apnea results in various chronic diseases. Under such conditions a premature death is not unlikely. Cardiovascular disease is mostly the cause of death in most cases. Football star Reggie White died at the age of 43 from cardiovascular and pulmonary problems that were worsened by sleep apnea.

These are some of the side effects of sleep apnea.  The problem must not be overlooked and treated as casually. It requires proper medical attention. It seems to be a rather minor problem but entails much more than that.

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