Snoring is a common problem for people to have, but sleep apnea is an entirely different matter. Although the two are commonly confused, sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can put your life in danger. If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea or your doctor suspects that you may have it, you need to know about the following three ways if could be harming your health.
When you have sleep apnea, it's a constant struggle for your body to get the air that it needs. Sleep apnea causes the airway to collapse in your sleep, which means your body has to tense and fight in order to suck in air past the obstruction. As a result, your blood pressure rises, even while you're sleeping.
High blood pressure is extremely dangerous for your cardiovascular health. Even if your blood pressure is normal while you're conscious and breathing normally, it could be elevated while you're asleep.
Not being able to breathe well in your sleep is very dangerous for your health. Every cell in your body needs oxygen in order to function properly. Without enough air, your brain and heart both suffer, and cellular damage can occur. In severe cases, insufficient oxygen can actually cause the brain to swell, which may ultimately create permanent brain damage. Even if the sleep apnea is treated and no longer an issue, if the damage has already been done, it's irreversible.
Poor Sleep Quality
Lastly, even mild sleep apnea can seriously impair the restful quality of your sleep. Your body requires sleep in order to repair damage and strain done throughout the day. If you aren't sleeping soundly because your body is constantly struggling to breathe, it won't be able to restore you fully.
To make matters worse, recent studies show that insufficient or poor quality sleep is very taxing on the brain. One study found that a lack of sleep created similar cognitive impairments to driving under the influence of alcohol. With sleep apnea, you could end up experiencing this every single day even without drinking a drop.
If anyone thinks you have sleep apnea, it's a good idea to get checked out. Sleep apnea appliances can be used to open the airway and restore your oxygen flow in your sleep, eliminating the risk of harm to your health. Don't hesitate to contact a medical professional for assistance if you have or suspect you have sleep apnea.
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