Is it Sleep Apnea or Something Else?


It is a well-established fact that Sleep Apnea- characterized by snoring, frequent pauses in breathing and partial awakening during sleep- contributes big time to daytime fatigue, restlessness, and irritability.  Now, according to the experts, it has been concluded that this condition can lead to even more serious health consequences.

Sleep Apnea can clue us in about certain health conditions and diseases that might affect our health now or lead to problems down the line. These ailments might be a cause or symptom or a condition that may put you at great risk in future.

Below are the conditions linked directly or indirectly with obstructive sleep apnea

High Blood Pressure and Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea has been determined as an independent, treatable cause of high blood pressure. More than half of the population with sleeping disorders is believed to have high blood pressure and unlike most of the people, their blood pressures do not fall down even during sleep. 

Because sleep apnea causes obstructed breathing, the lack of oxygen repetitively makes the blood vessels narrow and in order to boost the flow of blood to the heart and the brain, the blood pressure increases during night. Not only that, high blood pressure can be carried over the daytime when you are breathing normally. And even if you are on prescribed medication, it may not help.

The link between high blood pressure and sleep apnea exists regardless of age, gender and weight. However, CPAP treatment cannot only treat sleep apnea but could also reduce your nighttime and day time blood pressure.


Heart Problems and Sleep Apnea

During the episodes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, people are more likely to suffer a heart attack or die in the middle of the night. Not only attacks but Sleep apnea can also lead to heart strokes and other heart problems. What happens is- during the apnea phase, our heart rate tends to slow down dramatically and as we resume breathing, it rises rapidly. The disrupted oxygen flow makes it hard for our brain to regulate the flow of blood in arteries and the brain itself. Hence, if you leave it untreated, it will continue to make progression in your heart problems and related diseases.

Evidence indicates that Heart problems and sleep apnea are closely interlinked; in fact, OSA is a crucial risk factor for heart failures, strokes and angina pectoris, chest pain from the blockage of blood vessels supplying blood to the heart.


Diabetes and Sleep Apnea

According to recent studies, up to 40% of those with Obstructive Sleep Apnea end up with Type 2 Diabetes. Disruptions in breathing make the person’s body discharge stress hormones, which raises their blood sugar levels and make it more difficult for them to manage their condition over time. Diabetes and Sleep Apnea often coexist and one of the reasons for it is the presence of shared risk factor i.e. obesity.

However, optimizing the sleep quality and treating OSA might help in improving the symptoms associated with Type 2 Diabetes.

Road accidents and Sleep Apnea

Daytime grogginess accompanying sleep apnea people can put them at an increased risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. People with sleep apnea are up to ten times more likely to meet with road accidents than people without it.

Depression and Sleep Apnea

While sleep disturbances have long been linked with depression, recent research indicates that treating sleep apnea can effectively decrease one’s symptoms of depression. 

Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Research has found that interruption in sleep can bring metabolic changes in the body that can be linked with obesity. This association has been reported in all age groups- even in childhood and adolescence.

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