Living with sleep apnea effects is very hard on you. They put a strain on your body, mind, and emotions, causing the quality of your health and lifestyle to diminish. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to what some would call a sleep apnea disability...the hidden sleep apnea side effects that a person may not even know they have.
Sleep Apnea Complications:
Sleep deprivation is a common side effect of sleep apnea. Waking up several times a night gasping for breath makes the person lose valuable sleep, and never receive the right quality or quantity of sleep. Sleep deprivation can do many things to you, like giving you a compromised immune system, poor emotional and mental health, slower reaction time, and irritability, among other things.
When you are oxygen deprived, your brain does not receive the oxygen that it needs. Severe problems can result from oxygen deprivation, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, sexual issues, and learning/memory problems.
Sleep Apnea and Migraines
Migraine headaches occur in direct relation to the amount of REM sleep periods that one has during the night. If you are being awakened by sleep apnea, you will not have your required REM sleep periods, which can cause migraine headaches.
Sleep Apnea and Attention Deficit Disorder
Sleep apnea has been linked to attention deficit disorder (ADD) in adults and children. Treating the sleep apnea can reduce or eliminate attention deficit in children and adults.
Pulmonary Hypertenstion and Sleep Apnea
During apneas, the amount of oxygen in your blood falls. Persistent severe low levels of oxygen can lead to pulmonary hypertension.
Sleep Apnea and Depression
People with depression are five times more likely to have a sleep related breathing disorder. The exact link between the two is still unclear, but it may be because the lack of sleep leads to feelings of irritability and sleepiness.
Hypothyroid and Sleep Apnea
People who have hypothyroidism are more likely to develop sleep apnea. Sometimes people with hypothyroidism are mistakenly diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea and Diabetes
It is unclear of the exact link betwen sleep apnea and diabetes, but there is an obvious increased risk of diabetes with sleep apnea.
One theory says that sleep apnea activates the body's fight-or-flight response. This triggers a cascade of events, including the production of high levels of the hormone cortisol that ultimately leads to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, pre-diabetic conditions, that if left untreated, can lead to the development of diabetes. Low oxygen levels also seem to play a role.
Sleep Apnea and Gerd
There is a definite link between gerd and sleep apnea. Some researchers believe that sleep apnea causes airway pressure changes which can cause reflux to occur, while other researchersbelieve that the reflux of acids may result in spasms of the vocal cords that can then lead to sleep apnea.