Health risks associated with sleep apnea.
• High blood pressure or heart problems.
When there are episodes of apnea during sleep the oxygen level in blood decreases. In order to compensate for this heart starts to work more and this can cause load on heart which can lead to increase in blood pressure or some heart problem. If some one already problem of high blood pressure then things can get worse with sleep apnea. Due multiple awakenings at night due to less oxygen levels body get fatigue and stressed, which can lead to working of stress hormones. This can also lead to increase in blood pressure.
• Type 2 diabetes: There is increasing evidence that person with sleep apnea have more tendency to develop insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes as compared to person without obstructive sleep apnea. This may happen due to many reasons. When there is inappropriate breathing pattern and frequent apneas occur, then stress hormones can lead to increase in blood glucose levels. In addition to this, day time sleepiness and fatigue can lead to less of waliking and exercising which can also lead to weight gain and increase the chances of type-2 diabetes.
• Metabolic syndrome: The conditions that make up metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, high blood sugar and an increased waist circumference: These all are directly or indirectly associated with increased risk of cardiac problems.
• Stroke: Studies have shown that persons with sleep disordered breathing have increased chances of getting a stroke. Stroke itself predispose the person to get sleep apnea so the relation between the two is rather complex. The sleep apnea patients who gets a stroke have more chances of secondary stroke also.
• Decrease in quality of life and it may also lead to depression.
• Increased chances of accidents
In sleep apnea patient have day time sleepiness and tendency to fall asleep increase. This also happens while one is driving so there are increased incidence of traffic accidents in sleep apnea patients