The Dangerous Consequences of Sleep Apnea

Snoring is annoying and can disrupt your sleep and your significant other’s as well. However, it can have even more severe consequences if you snore and suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea increases your risk of developing dangerous health conditions. However, these problems can be curbed if you seek treatment for your sleep apnea.

What Health Problems Can Arise from Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

It’s important to know what health problems can arise if you have obstructive sleep apnea. These conditions include the following:

  • High Blood Pressure: Sleep apnea can increase your blood pressure. Additionally, if your blood pressure is already on the upper side, it can get worse with obstructive sleep apnea because your body is under stress while you sleep. When your breathing is not proper, the level of oxygen in your blood decreases.
  • Heart Disease: If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you are far more likely to suffer a heart attack. Low oxygen in your blood means your heart receives less oxygen as well. You also experience additional stress during sleep because of frequent waking.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Around 80 percent of people who have obstructive sleep apnea also have type 2 diabetes. Additionally, being obese increases the risk of suffering from both conditions.
  • Weight Gain: If you have gained a considerable amount of weight, it can also raise your risk of developing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea also makes it more difficult to lose weight. Being overweight or obese means you have more fat in the neck area, which can obstruct your breathing while you sleep.
  • Asthma: Individuals who have obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to develop asthma, a chronic lung disease.
  • Acid Reflux: Many people who have sleep apnea claim to suffer from acid reflux as well.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you should seek treatment. Many of the other medical conditions that can develop when you have obstructive sleep apnea can be reduced or eliminated with the right treatment.

One means of treatment your doctor may prescribe is the usage of a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure.” It is fitted with a hose at the end of which there is a mask. You wear that mask during the night while you sleep and receive oxygen, which can help you to breathe better and can improve your condition overall.

Other forms of treatment include mouth appliances, nerve stimulators, and surgery. It’s important to consult with your doctor to determine which type of treatment is most appropriate for you.

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Sleep Apnea News: What’s Happening Right Now

Wondering what’s happening in the world of sleep apnea and sleep disorders? read on below to see a news roundup of the latest reports.

Profile of Mia Amdur

This profile about a girl living with sleep apnea (the daughter of American Sleep Apnea Association’s (ASAA) chief patient officer Adam Amdur) gives a good idea of what the illness is and the dangers of a severe case. Mia inherited adenoidal face syndrome, or “long face syndrome,” from both parents, and at age two once stopped breathing 27 times during one night. Her case required some plastic surgery to her face and a CPAP mask that gives her air while she sleeps, but thankfully, as a nine-year-old girl she seems to be doing fine.

NFL Star Talks About Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Three years ago, football star Ryan Jensen’s career was in jeopardy. Despite getting eight hours of sleep per night, he was always tired; he kept losing weight and was so sluggish on the field that he was cut from the Baltimore Ravens. Even his loved ones noticed a change in behavior, as he was always acting angry now. Eventually his wife discovered that he was not breathing while he slept, and a home test revealed that he had sleep apnea. After getting treatment, Jensen credits his diagnosis with saving his career.

Lawsuit Over Workplace Discrimination

Gary Elias, a former employee at the Arizona State University, has filed a case with the Arizona Board of Regents over discrimination for his sleep apnea. Originally his supervisors gave him flexible work hours and allowed him to work from home in order to accommodate his condition, but in December 2014 a new boss revoked them. As a result he says that he “experienced severe daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and significant anxiety,” performed poorly and was eventually fired. The case was filed on August 31 and will have its first pretrial conference in November.

“Zap” Could Replace CPAP as Treatment

A new treatment could help people with severe sleep apnea. Called “Inspire,” this nerve stimulator can be turned on before sleep and then prevents the tongue from blocking the air passage, allowing those with the condition to breathe normally. This would replace the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks which are worn to supply air during sleep; these masks can be difficult to clean, and are cumbersome when one travels. Inspire was approved for use in the United States in 2014, and five-year trials seems to show that users are doing well.

How to Annoy Your Bed Partner

After spending most of your life sleeping alone, making a significant life change like moving in with your romantic partner can be a challenge. Although you’re excited to embark on this new journey, you may also be a bit nervous about how you two are going to get along at bedtime. Will your partner annoy you — or will you annoy them?

Turn Up the Temperature When Your Partner Likes It Lower

You love sleeping in a warm and comfortable environment surrounded by many blankets and pillows, but you also prefer to have the room temperature set at a toasty 72 degrees fahrenheit. Although the ideal room temperature falls in a range from 60 to 67 degrees fahrenheit, you feel too cold to sleep in that environment. However, your partner may need to sleep in a cooler environment. Otherwise, they make wake up in the middle of the night sweating, feeling dizzy, overheated, and annoyed.

Talk to your partner to see if you can find some middle ground. Perhaps you can sleep with a slightly lower room temperature, less blankets and pillows or warmer clothing. As for your partner, they may be able to sleep in lighter clothing and use a cooling pillow.

You Read Late at Night

Whether you read a book using a bedside lamp, or read the day’s news on your iPad, any kind of light shining in your partner’s sleeping environment can keep them awake at night. Do your partner a favor by finding a compromise. You can use small a clip-on task light for your late-night reading habits, or you can set your phone to emit a less obnoxious orange light instead of blue light.

You Snore

Imagine you and your partner go to bed. You quickly fall asleep and start to snore, however, you can still feel your your partner tossing and turning beside you. Your partner tries their hardest to get to sleep by burying their head in a pillow or turning on white noise such as a fan or an air purifier in an effort to block out your snoring, but to no avail. Your sleeping partner wakes you up to complain about your snoring, but you ignore it and go back to sleep, and start snoring once more. The next morning, you wake up feeling exhausted, and your equally exhausted sleeping partner complains about how your snoring kept them awake the night before. Does this situation sound familiar to you?

If you’re waking up in the morning feeling exhausted and your partner complains about your snoring, that could be a sign of sleep apnea. If you’re wondering what sleep apnea is and how it can be treated, take a look at one of my previous blogs, “How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?

Products to Help Your Sleep Apnea

Do you suffer from sleep apnea? If you have a prescription from your doctor for a device to treat your sleep apnea, you may want to consider a few of these products from 3B Medical, Inc. The company produces high quality technology that has the ability to drastically help consumers get higher quality sleep. If you’re looking for a solution to your sleep troubles, read about the iCodeConnect™, the Luna, and the Cirrus 5 on Alex Lucio’s website here.