Sleep apnea can do so much more than simply disrupt a good night’s sleep. Here’s a guide to what you should know about the health risks associated with sleep apnea and what you can do if you have the condition.
• Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping. The muscles in the back of the throat relax, causing the airway to close briefly as a person breathes in. The decrease in blood oxygen level that results causes an increase in blood pressure and makes the heart work harder. As a result, he or she may wake abruptly, or so barely that the incident isn’t remembered at all. Regardless, sleep apnea can be a serious health risk and increases a person’s chance of developing high blood pressure and diabetes, having a heart attack or stroke, and suffering from depression.
• Symptoms of sleep apnea can include feeling tired after a full night’s sleep, snoring, morning headaches, moodiness and depression.
• Side effects of sleep deprivation can range from nagging fatigue and trouble concentrating to weight gain and an increased risk of auto accidents.
• Depending on the severity of a person’s sleep apnea, treatment may include losing weight, sleeping in a position other than on your back, using a machine while sleeping to keep your airway open, or undergoing surgery. Successful treatment can help prevent blood pressure from rising to a dangerous level, keep the heart healthy and protect against possible side effects of sleep deprivation.
Sleep apnea is common, especially in overweight men over 40 years of age, and can even effect children. If you think you’re suffering from sleep apnea, talk with a doctor. For more information about Medical Center of Arlington sleep study services, simply call thier direct line at 866-403-1209. For a physician referral, please call 1-855-868-6262 or call 817-472-4857 to schedule your sleep study.