Associated Problems

What are the Associated Problems of Sleep Apnea?

The effects of sleep apnea vary from person to person but there are many associated problems and very dangerous side effects that have been proven if your sleep apnea goes untested. If you suffer from sleep apnea, then your body is not getting the oxygen that it needs to function properly.

Sleep Apnea - A Total Nightmare

Many patients with sleep apnea also have high blood pressure. This is because the heart has to pump harder to compensate for the lack of oxygen. The strength of your heart will start to deteriorate and it will begin pumping blood at a much lower force than is necessary to continue the proper function of the body if the condition is not treated. The heart is the first organ that experiences the results of untreated sleep apnea.

The book below is an excellent resource on the topic of the effects of sleep apnea. Note that a new page will be displayed when the image or link is clicked.


Sleep Apnea Effects

Here is a list of  a growing number of health problems that, if left untreated, include:

  • High blood pressure – sleep apnea puts stress on the heart and can damage the blood vessels
  • Eyes – low oxygen levels in the blood can damage the nerve that links your eyes to your brain which can cause the disease known as glaucoma. Sleep apnea has also been linked to another disease called floppy eyelid syndrome whereby the eyelids don’t fully protect the eye when you sleep
  • Fatty liver – sleep apnea and fatty liver both share something in common in that they occur in people who are overweight or obese. Researchers used to believe that sleep apnea and fatty liver were unrelated but new studies suggest that they may be strongly linked together with sleep apnea. The severity of fatty liver in a person is often attributed to the severity of their sleep apnea. The fat in the liver can turn into scar tissue, which can lead to liver failure
  • Irregular heart beats, heart attacks, heart failure, or stroke – sleep apnea puts stress on the heart and can damage the blood vessels
  • Diabetes – poor sleep and insufficient oxygen in your blood make it harder for your body to process insulin which helps to control your blood sugar. This raises the risk of you getting diabetes
  • Depression – untreated sleep disorders may result in reduced oxygen levels to the brain and interrupted sleep. Poor quality sleep might worsen depression symptoms
  • Lungs – having sleep apnea can raise the blood pressure in your lungs which can worsen breathing problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Sleep apnea may also increase nighttime asthma
  • Poor memory and thinking problems – sleep apnea has been linked to brain damage which may be because of reduced oxygen levels to the brain cells

The following video explains in further detail what the effects of untreated sleep apnea can have on a person.

The effects of sleep apnea can be severe for both the person who has it as well as their family members. Witnessing someone waking up gasping for air is a scary thing to see and family members’ sleeping patterns can also be interrupted as well.

Untreated sleep apnea in adults may also lead to poor performance in everyday activities such as at work or at school. Children and adolescents may also suffer academically in school because they are unable to focus properly.

You can find other books on the topic of sleep apnea here. Please drop me a comment if you have found another book that you found informative on the topic of sleep apnea.

12 thoughts on “Associated Problems

  1. Lel

    How important it is to have a good nights sleep without interruptions. It affects every part of your life and stresses you out. My cousin and his son are both on the machines and they have said that it gives them a quality of life that they hadn’t had in years. Thanks for all your research, this should help others as well.

    Reply
    1. Shawn

      Hi Lel,
      You are absolutely correct! Without the deep REM sleep, it didn’t matter how many hours of sleep I got, I was always exhausted the next day. It has been a night and day difference since I started using my CPAP machine! I hope that others find this site useful.
      Regards,
      Shawn

      Reply
  2. Rama

    This is very informative for me I do have a lack of sleep at times, I need some tips on better sleep and will have a look at that book

    Reply
    1. Shawn

      Thanks very much for your comments Rama! I hope that the book answers your questions about how to get better sleep.
      Best regards,
      Shawn

      Reply
  3. Tarik Wilkes

    I like your clarification of the various terms associated with the topic of sleep apnea. It is good to define common terms in your niche to give the reader a good understanding of the topic. I also appreciated your use of infographics to communication statistics to the reader. Good job!

    Reply
    1. Shawn Post author

      Thanks very much for your comments Tarik! The topic of sleep apnea is a very important one to me. The list of family and friends that I know who have sleep apnea continues to grow so it’s important that people understand the importance of getting tested for it.

      Regards,

      Shawn

      Reply
  4. Julius

    Hello,

    fortunately, I don’t have any sleep disorders. I just somehow accidentally discovered your blog, and I really love it. It looks like you really trying to help people. I can only imagine that it would be very unpleasant and exhausting to have sleep apnea… Your article is very informative and easy to read. The book is also definitely worth the price.

    Keep it up!

    Reply
    1. Shawn Post author

      Hi Julius,

      Thanks very much for your comments! I’m glad you don’t have any sleep disorders. Unfortunately there are many people who have undetected sleep apnea that could result in severe health problems down the road.

      Best regards,

      Shawn

      Reply
  5. lifebeginswithyourhealth

    Good article on sleep apnea and the problems it can cause a person, I never knew this problem could cause so many health problems until reading your article today.

    Sleep Apnea is much more serious then me and many others probably realized, why is this such a common problem today with so many people?

    What is your opinion about those sleep Apnea machines, many people I know who have them dislike them and do not even use them any longer………what a waste of money buying a machine and not using it when it can prevent so many health problems.

    Reply
    1. Shawn Post author

      Thanks very much for your comments. More and more research is being done that proves that sleep apnea causes so many other health related problems but unfortunately, a lot of times, it goes undetected. That’s why it is so important to get tested for sleep apnea if you suspect you have a sleeping disorder.

      I have been using a Respironics CPAP machine for a year now and I’m so happy to have it. I know my wife is very happy as well, as I no longer snore which means that both my wife and I get a good night’s sleep. I have heard that many people don’t like the masks, but fortunately, I haven’t had a problem adjusting to it. Perhaps these people just need to try a different mask to see if it fits better for them.

      Regards,

      Shawn

      Reply
  6. George

    What is the root cause of sleep apnea? Does it affect anyone at any age or does it only affect people at specific ages with specific ailments? I’m a middle aged man and I don’t think I have it because I can’t identify with the symptoms mentioned. But is it possible that I can develop it as I grow older into the twilight years.
    Thanks for this information.

    Reply
    1. Shawn Post author

      Hi George,
      Thank you for your questions. To my knowledge thru personal experience and the research that I’ve done, the primary cause of sleep apnea seems to be people being overweight. I also know that it can affect people of all ages, even young children can get sleep apnea although in their cases it might be other symptoms that cause it. But for the majority of people it occurs when you are overweight. Everyone that I know who has it, myself included, is overweight. Should you gain weight over the years, then it is possible that you could develop it.
      I hope this helps!
      Regards,
      Shawn

      Reply

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