Untreated Sleep Apnea

This Forum is for Frequently Asked Questions and information regarding Sleep Apnea.

Untreated Sleep Apnea

Postby Linda » Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:58 pm

Q. What will happen to me if I don't do anything to treat my sleep apnea? Will I get sick? Could I die?

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For more information see www.mayoclinic.com.

Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. Complications may include:
• Cardiovascular problems. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. Almost half of all people with sleep apnea develop high blood pressure (hypertension), which raises the risk of heart failure and stroke. If there's underlying heart disease, these repeated multiple episodes of low blood oxygen (hypoxia or hypoxemia) can lead to sudden death from a cardiac event
• Daytime fatigue. People with sleep apnea often experience severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability. They may have difficulty concentrating and find themselves falling asleep at work, while watching TV or even when driving. People with obstructive sleep apnea are three to five times more likely to have car accidents.
• Complications with medications and surgery. People with sleep apnea may be more likely to experience complications following major surgery because they're prone to breathing problems, especially when sedated and lying on their backs. Before you have surgery, inform your doctor that you have sleep apnea.
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