Sleep apnea symptoms, and the consequences of sleep apnea on a patient’s health over the long term can be so severe that it can affect a person’s insurance rating and premium. Unfortunately sleep apnea is also very common. Statistically, sleep apnea is as prevalent as adult-onset diabetes. According to the National Institute of Health, more than twelve million Americans have sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
If you have problems with snoring, daytime sleepiness, and or fatigue, there is a good chance you have sleep disorder breathing or obstructive sleep apnea. As loud snoring is a significant symptom of specifically obstructive sleep apnea, your daytime sleep apnea symptoms can include:
During a sleep apnea event, the airway becomes obstructed during sleep, blocking air flow and resulting in an emergency arousal that causes the person to gasp for air. Apnea is particularly severe and life threatening when there are more than twenty or thirty events per hour. Because the heart is sensitive to oxygen levels in the blood, apnea is most dangerous in people with heart disease.
The effects of sleep apnea on a patient’s health can lead to the following:
High Blood Pressure
During apnea events; blood oxygen drops abnormally low, resulting in an increase in blood pressure.
Arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, is very common in people with sleep apnea.
Enlargement of the Heart
People with prolonged episodes of high blood pressure risk enlargement of the heart.
High blood pressure and heart enlargement are risk factors associated with stroke.
Low levels of oxygen in the blood and high concentrations of carbon dioxide can cause abnormalities in lung tissue.
If you suspect you may suffer from sleep apnea, it is important to seek diagnosis and treatment. Read more about how sleep apnea is diagnosed and treated.