The Hidden Dangers of Sleep Apnea

22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but 80% remain undiagnosed and untreated. Living with this disorder increases health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke as well as increasing car accident risks due to frequent awakening.

Though snoring may be an indicator of sleep apnea, most don’t seek treatment as they believe it won’t interfere with their lives much. They could be wrong!

High Blood Pressure

Millions of people suffer from sleep apnea unknowingly and don’t even realize it, leading them to experience serious side effects such as high blood pressure. It is crucial that individuals understand the dangers associated with this condition and seek treatment prior to it becoming serious in terms of both their health and life.

Obstructive sleep apnea causes repeated interruptions to breathing during sleep, disrupting its natural cycle and decreasing quality of restorative rest. People suffering from OSA often wake frequently during the night causing disruption of hormone regulation as well as limited oxygen flow to organs reducing oxygen flow for organ function and increasing blood pressure which in turn may lead to heart disease, stroke, or other cardiovascular problems.

Sleep Apnea can cause low nighttime oxygen levels, leading to an increase in norepinephrine production that increases both blood pressure and heart rate. Furthermore, frequent episodes of awakening due to struggle for breath may tighten blood vessels which also elevates blood pressure.

People living with untreated sleep apnea for four to five years face a 30% increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, due to extra strain placed upon their heart from sleeping improperly, potentially leading to damage and muscle weakening that prevents enough oxygen reaching other parts of their bodies.

Sleep apnea symptoms include snoring, excessive fatigue and headaches. Men are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than women and older people more frequently have this condition than ever before. Being overweight or going through menopause increases risks further while alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers may relax throat muscles that support airway passageways resulting in worsened symptoms of sleep apnea.

Heart Disease

As you may already be aware, regular physical exercise and eating a heart-healthy diet are both vitally important in protecting cardiovascular health. But sleep apnea also presents serious threats to it if left undiagnosed and untreated.

Sleep deprivation increases both blood pressure and heart rate as you experience stress from frequent breathing pauses. This may eventually lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and atrial fibrillation – potentially leading to stroke or even heart failure. You can get help from Dr. Mulder by checking out the link.

Sleep apnea puts you at greater risk for all these issues as it disrupts the normal flow of oxygen into your body, leading to reduced oxygen intake and temporarily awakening you for breathing. An interruption to this flow causes carbon dioxide build-up in your blood, prompting your brain to send signals back out instructing muscles to breathe again; this process may repeat itself multiple times every night leaving you with low oxygen levels during the daytime.

Low oxygen levels can damage the lining of blood vessels, increasing risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. Furthermore, they may increase cholesterol and other harmful fat levels in your bloodstream and leading to heart issues.

People suffering from obstructive sleep apnea are at increased risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the number one cause of chronic liver failure in the US. Untreated sleep apnea may contribute to these risks and should be addressed through appropriate medical treatment of it.


Sleep apnea can lead to mood changes and depression. People suffering from a sleep disorder may also experience other effects like memory loss, morning headaches or increased anxiety – all exacerbated by exhaustion from lack of restful sleep; left untreated this problem could even result in serious depression and suicidal thoughts.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep condition in which breathing is interrupted for brief periods while sleeping, lasting seconds to minutes at a time, leading to decreased oxygen levels and multiple awakenings from restful slumber. OSA increases your risk for depression, heart disease and other health conditions that impair concentration and productivity while working or attending school, making daytime drowsiness an additional complication.

Sleep apnea disrupts blood flow to the brain, leading to reduced levels of GABA and an increase in glutamate. Both chemicals help regulate emotions, thinking processes and various bodily functions such as perspiration and blood pressure regulation; when disrupted they can lead to feelings of anxiety, irritability or depression in an individual.

One study demonstrated that individuals suffering from depression are five times more likely to have breathing-related sleep disorders compared to those without depression. Though researchers were unable to demonstrate a direct causal connection, their study did reveal an association between both conditions, so screening people with depression for sleep apnea is recommended.

Treating sleep apnea can help improve the quality of your rest and ease depression and other associated symptoms, allowing you to more effectively cope with these disorders. Reach out to Weatherford Dental Sleep Medicine now to discover more of their services!

Car Accidents

People suffering from sleep apnea are at an increased risk of car accidents due to grogginess and an inability to focus, however proper treatment can alleviate these issues and lower the chances of a drowsy driving incident.

Researchers have reported that people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea are up to 2.5 times more likely than others to cause car accidents as drivers due to sleep deprivation caused by collapsed upper airway during sleep and intermittent awakenings that disrupt oxygen flow during restorative cycles. Researchers attribute this increased crash risk due to sleep deprivation caused by collapsed airways that collapse during rest and the interruptions that arise with interrupted oxygen flows that disrupt restful REM sleep cycles.

Increased crash risks may also be related to decreased concentration and attention spans, making it more challenging for drivers to navigate complex or dangerous driving conditions safely. Such impairments could result in motor vehicle collisions causing serious injuries.

People with severe obstructive sleep apnea who sleep for six or fewer hours per night have an elevated risk for accidents, regardless of self-reported daytime sleepiness. According to these findings, drivers should be evaluated for sleep apnea even if they don’t report its symptoms, as well as other possible sources of impaired sleepiness such as shorter usual sleep duration or use of sleeping-promoting medications.

Obstructive sleep apnea is more prevalent among older adults and those who are overweight; however, anyone with a naturally narrow throat, large adenoids or tonsils which obstruct airflow during sleep, as well as smoking or alcohol consumption which irritate tissues in the throat and airway leading to inflammation can be susceptible.

Memory Loss

Sleep apnea can have serious repercussions for both body and mind, interfering with normal consolidation of memories during restful slumber, leading to memory problems or forgetfulness – changes which are only reversible with proper treatment.

If you are experiencing memory loss without being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, sleep apnea could be to blame. Sleep apnea interferes with oxygen flow to your brain, and can result in memory impairment that leads to permanent cognitive decline. If left untreated, treatment could bring great improvements for cognitive ability and may even reverse previous decline.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is one of the most prevalent forms of this condition. It occurs when muscles in the back of your throat relax too much during sleep, leading them to narrow your airway and stop you breathing for 10 seconds or more – disrupting oxygen delivery to your brain and prompting an automatic wake-up response that often occurs so quickly that you may never remember.

People suffering from obstructive sleep apnea often exhibit various mental health symptoms, such as low energy, memory issues and mood changes. This is likely caused by episodes of micro-awakenings caused by sleep apnea disrupting deep sleep cycles to keep you from getting the restorative rest your brain needs for healing and repair.

People suffering from untreated obstructive sleep apnea are at an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, an irreversible brain condition which leads to cognitive skills and memory decline over time. It’s thought this might be caused by amyloid plaque build-up disrupting nerve cells in your brain that prevent you from recalling information and processing new data efficiently.