You might have heard of sleep apnea, or know first-hand about the condition from personal experience. Most people know the classic hallmark of the disease, extremely loud snoring, but there are other symptoms associated with this condition. Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea can include:
• Waking up multiple times during the night experiencing shortness of breath and/or a choking sensation
• Suffer from morning headaches
• Have the need to urinate frequently throughout the night
• Suffer from insomnia
• Wake up in the morning with a dry mouth and a sore throat
• Often feel moody and depressed
• Snores that are loud enough to wake the neighbors
• Have problems staying awake during the day, and feel excessively tired
• Suffer from memory or learning problems
It is important to remember that snoring, snuffling, snorting, or wheezing during the night is not necessarily from sleep apnea. There are other variables that come into play that can cause these symptoms such as anatomy, being sick, or suffering from allergies. It is important to keep an eye out for some of the other signs of the disease. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. Sleep apnea prevents your body from getting the restorative sleep that it needs, and leaves you more susceptible to serious health issues and potentially fatal situations. If that wasn’t enough, sleep apnea can also lead to potentially fatal cardiac diseases.
However, the best form of prevention is knowledge and awareness. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that many people are not aware of, as studies have suggested that as many as 75 million people have a condition that they know little to nothing about. February is American and National Heart Month, and in recognition we are sharing some of the potential heart problems that can occur due to sleep apnea.
• The risk of premature dementia and stroke are increased in those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
• In those who suffer from untreated sleep apnea, the likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation increases fivefold according to the Sleep Heart Health Study.
• Having untreated sleep apnea is concomitant with congestive heart failure.
• Pulmonary hypertension, a condition in which the blood pressure in the lungs is significantly elevated, has known ties to sleep apnea.
• Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea can result in developing hypertension, or high blood pressure.
• Having sleep apnea that goes untreated can worsen atherosclerotic coronary diseases.
• Sleep apnea can cause deadly heart attacks by affecting the metabolism, and negatively affecting sugar and cholesterol levels.
• Significant risk of automobile accidents in drivers with sleep apnea and you should not drive if you have untreated apnea.