An estimated 30 million adults suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes stopping and restarting of breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the upper airway collapsing while the body is in the reclined position. It can cause snoring, gasping and choking noises while the affected person sleeps. Unfortunately, it can also cause a lot more trouble for sufferers, especially when left untreated. If you’re still not convinced that your obstructive sleep apnea is worth taking seriously, check out these reasons for treating this dangerous condition.
A recent study found that adults with untreated obstructive sleep apnea were more likely to involuntarily lose employment than those without sleep apnea. Furthermore, those with obstructive sleep apnea were more likely to hold hourly jobs as opposed to salaried jobs. Researchers believe this is because sleep many apnea patients may underperform due to the exhaustion and stress of repeated waking at night.
It seems like every week a new study is published warning sleep apnea patients about a new danger of leaving their condition untreated. Recent headlines claim that sleep apnea increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer (including breast cancer and prostate cancer). And in June, a man with sleep apnea made headlines after suffering an eye stroke that left him blind in one eye.
Your weight and obstructive sleep apnea can often be a case of "which came first?": Does your weight increase due to the sleep apnea, or do your sleep apnea symptoms increase due to your weight? While it may not be the same in every case, one thing was recently proven to be true: People with untreated obstructive sleep apnea have a harder time losing weight than those who have treated apnea or no apnea at all. In fact, those who treated their apnea lost an average of 6 pounds more than those who did not!
According to the Mayo Clinic, obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to death in patients because breathing obstructions lead to a drop in oxygen levels. These drops in oxygen levels can put strain on the heart, causing cardiac arrythmia. This can prove fatal. In fact, the more severe the case of sleep apnea, the higher your risk for heart problems.
If you think you or someone you love could have sleep apnea, contact Dr. Lederman at 516-882-1764 for a consultation. Treating your obstructive sleep apnea could improve - and save - your life.