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Health Issues Related to Sleep Apnea

Snoring may be the foundation of countless jokes, but if it is related to obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), it’s no laughing matter. OSA can raise a person’s risk of health issues like diabetes and hypertension, and it can lead one to fall asleep at the wheel. With proper sleep apnea treatment, many of these issues can be reduced or eliminated. Below are several issues experienced by patients with OSA.

High Blood Pressure
If a person already has hypertension, OSA can worsen it. Waking repeatedly during sleep can cause hormonal imbalances, which can raise blood pressure. When a person can’t breathe well while sleeping, their blood oxygen level drops, which can exacerbate the problem. Treatments for sleep apnea can allow some patients to cut back on hypertension medicines.

Heart Disease
A patient diagnosed with Sleep Apnea is more likely to have a heart attack. Doctors believe that low blood oxygen levels or stress induced by frequent waking may be to blame. Atrial fibrillation and stroke are also connected with sleep apnea, which disrupts the breathing process and the way blood flows throgh the arteries and the brain.

Diabetes
It’s been estimated that up to 80% of patients with type 2 diabetes have obstructive sleep apnea. Obesity can increase a person’s risk of both disorders, and although clear links haven’t been established, lack of sleep can keep the body from using insulin as it should.

Weight Gain
Carrying extra weight can increase a person’s risk of sleep apnea, which can make it harder to lose weight. When one is overweight, fatty deposits in the neck can impede nighttime breathing. Sleep apnea can encourage the body’s release of ghrelin, which is responsible for cravings for sugary, carb-laden foods. However, sleep apnea treatments can make patients feel better and have more energy for exercise and other healthy activities. In fact, losing enough weight can cure OSA.

All of the above issues may seem scary, but there are many treatments for OSA. A physician may recommend the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, which helps patients breathe better during sleep. The machine takes some getting used to, but it and other treatments from Allen-ent.com can help patients avoid health issues.

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