There can be many dangers of untreated sleep apnea, we cover just three major ones that could affect you or someone you may know. Many have heard that regular exercise and a healthy diet are the most important thing you can do for your health. As it turns out, the quality of sleep you get is just as important if not more to your heart’s wellbeing. The excuses for not getting treatment for sleep apnea could go on and on.

If you consistently snore and wake up feeling tired after a full night’s rest, you may brush it off as no big deal and try to live with it. But doing so can lead to more than daytime fatigue. You could suffer other serious, ill effects to your health and safety. Seeking treatment helps you get restful sleep and prevent potential negative health risks.

“Sleep apnea happens when upper airway muscles relax during sleep and pinch off the airway, which prevents you from getting enough air. Your breathing may pause for 10 seconds or more at a time until your reflexes kick in and you start breathing again,” explains Jonathan Jun, M.D., a pulmonary and sleep medicine specialist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep.

Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea

High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease

Sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease, which increase the strain on your heart. If you have sleep apnea, you’re more likely to have an abnormal heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation, which could increase your risk of a stroke. Heart failure is also more common in people who have sleep apnea. Ignoring your sleep apnea could lead to significant, long-term effects on your heart health and the longevity of your life.

Pregnancy Complications

Research has shown that sleep apnea leads to serious health risks for both the mother and her baby. Pregnant women with sleep apnea are more likely to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy that often causes preterm birth and to deliver their babies via cesarean section. Their babies are more likely to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit than babies born without sleep apnea.

Weight Gain

When you’re overweight, you can have fatty deposits on your neck that block breathing at night. Sleep apnea can make your body release more of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you crave carbs and sweets. And when you’re constantly tired all the time, your body struggles with turning the food into energy as efficiently, which leads to weight gain. Treatment for sleep apnea can make you feel better. You’ll have more energy for exercise and other activities. This will also help you lose weight. If you or someone you know suffers from dangers of sleep apnea, please consult your doctor or physician immediately. For more information on our services and how we can help, please click here.