Last Updated on November 16, 2012 by Jimson Lee
My previous article The Best Method to Sleep using your REM cycle is one of the most popular articles on this blog. I guess sleep must be important, since you spend 25-33% of your life doing it.
But what about those not-so-fortunate individuals with sleep apnea?
This blog comes from Pasco, WA, which is along the famous Highway 395 that stretches from Grand Forks, BC to northern Washington State, all the way to San Diego, CA!
Efforts to discover what causes sleep apnea have been intense, and although the actual cause may not have been identified, researchers have discovered that sleep apnea (sleep apnoea) health problems can be serious.
There are several major risk factors for heart disease such as obesity, alcohol abuse, and smoking, but you might be surprised to find out that sleep apnea is also a major risk factor. Combine any of these factors, and the risk doubles for serious sleep apnoea health problems. For example, if you are obese and you suffer from sleep apnea, then your risk of heart problems increases.
If your sleep apnea is treated with a device such as CPAP, you reduce or even eliminate your risks. However, if you do not seek treatment when your breathing stops during an apnea attack, the levels of carbon dioxide in your blood increase while the levels of oxygen drop off. This effect causes a variety of chemical and physical events to occur that can increase your risk for heart problems.
Sleep apnoea health problems increase the longer the apnea remains untreated. This problem will decrease the levels of gas nitric oxide in the blood, which is an important substance for heart health. The reduced levels raise the risk of heart problems.
Apnea also increases the angiotensin converting enzyme, which plays a role in congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. High levels of this enzyme exacerbate your sleep apnoea health problems. Other chemical changes involved also increase your risk for heart problems.
There is still much research needed to define just how all of these changes affect the heart and just how serious the impact is to the health of your heart. With treatments available, why take the risk? Why not use a sleep apnea device like CPAP?
Studies have made direct correlations with the following sleep apnoea health problems. If you suffer from sleep apnea, consider these risks if you choose to ignore using one of the sleep apnea device treatments.
High Blood Pressure – Several studies have correlated sleep apnoea with high blood pressure. A study conducted in 2004 for sleep apnea health problems found that the more apnea episodes you had in the first year, the more likely you were to have high blood pressure by the time year four came around.
Blood pressure will have wide fluctuations in response to the apnea episode. These fluctuations might be a result of the sympathetic nervous system sudden surge. It’s these fluctuations, which lead to the blood vessels constricting, and over time, this leads to high blood pressure and the possibility of heart damage.
Effective treatments like the CPAP sleep apnea device allow your airways to remain open, which means your blood pressure will be lowered. Only partial reduction of sleep apnoea does not have the positive effective. It must be a substantial reduction.
Of the many sleep apnea health problems, coronary artery disease and heart attack are the two most serious. Studies have confirmed that the more apnea episodes you have the higher your risk of heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease. This is especially true in older adults. Do you still want to ignore treatment such as CPAP?
If you have sleep apnoea, you double your risk for stroke. The worse the episodes, the greater the risk you face. Severe sleep apnoea can triple your risk of stroke. And stroke sufferers with sleep apnea have symptoms that are worse, such as poor speech response, depression, delirium, and difficulty with daily activities. Another good reason to use a sleep apnea device is to reduce your risk of developing sleep apnoea health problems.
37% of all heart failure patience had sleep apnea, and if you have existing congestive heart failure with sleep apnoea, your risk of death goes up.
Other sleep apnoea health problems that have been directly linked to sleep apnea
- Peripheral nerve damage
- Kidney failure
- Eye disorders
- Liver damage
- Nerve disorders
- High-risk pregnancies
- Irregular menstrual periods
Now that you know just a few of the sleep apnoea health issues are you ready to seek treatment?
About the Author
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