What are the complications of severe obstructive sleep apnea?

April 28, 2017 |  by  |  Types of Sleep Apnea

Getting a good night’s sleep is something that is vital to our health. While we sleep our body gets a chance to repair from the damage of the prior day. Sleep makes us feel better, more alert, more energetic and over able to function better. The amount of sleep that we need per night depends on the person however the national average is around 7 hours a night of sleep. For people with severe obstructive sleep apnea getting a good night’s sleep is just one of the many complications if this sleeping disorder.

Patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea have interrupted sleep and generally speaking are never able to fall into that deep sleep. Sleep apnea affects the way that one breathes while they sleep. Depending on the severity of the sleep apnea will also determine how often someone is woken up. Many people with severe obstructive sleep apnea will not recall waking up during the night and all they can recall is waking up feeling extremely tired. Severe obstructive sleep apnea is treatable and in most cases this treatment is in the form of a CPAP machine. CPAP machines are medical devices that provide a constant flow of air while one sleeps. This constant pressure helps to keep the airways from closing.

Obstructive sleep apnea has many adverse consequences if left untreated. Since people who have disrupted sleep are unable to think clearly a recent study has shown that people who suffer from this sleeping disorder are three times more likely to be involved in a car accident. Daytime headaches, extreme fatigue, irritability, limited attention span and poor memory are other adverse complications that can be related to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

People who suffer from sleep apnea are also at a higher risk for other medical conditions. Some of these include high blood pressure, heart failure, insulin resistance, arrhythmias and pulmonary hypertension. In some rare cases death can also result from severe obstructive sleep apnea. If left untreated people with sleep apnea are at a greater risk for a plethora of medical issues as well as having a lower quality of life.

Now that you understand the answer to the question what is severe obstructive sleep apnea it is important to understand the treatment for this sleeping disorder. All of the above listed side effects are what can happen if this sleeping disorder is not treated. The good news is that with proper treatment of sleep apnea these side effects are no longer an issue. Most people who do have CPAP therapy will report that through the use of this treatment they are able to start getting the rest that they need. Thus allowing them to be able to function more clearer which increases the quality of life overall. Talk with your medical doctor if you or someone you know has sleep apnea. Leaving it untreated can result in some very serious medical complications.


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