Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder, often associated with loud persistent snoring. In general, those with sleep apnea experience episodes of interrupted breathing throughout the night. This prohibits oxygen from accessing the body and the brain. As a result, those with sleep apnea experience a variety of short-term and long-term health consequences.
Types of Sleep ApneaThere are three main types of sleep apnea. Each type comes with different consequences, risk factors, and symptoms.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea:OSA is the most well-known and common form of sleep apnea. This sleep disorder occurs when an individual’s airway is blocked because the back of the throat is collapsing during sleep.
Central Sleep Apnea:This less-common form of sleep apnea still poses threats. In central sleep apnea, the brain fails to signal the respiratory system to breathe properly.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome:This sleep disorder occurs when an individual has both OSA and central sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Risk FactorsAnyone, despite gender and age, can suffer from sleep apnea. However, there are certain risk factors that can make you more susceptible to this sleep disorder. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:
- Being male
- Being overweight
- Being over 40 years old
- Having nasal obstruction problems such as allergies and sinus problems
- Having a larger than normal neck size
- Having a family history of sleep disorders
Consequences of Sleep ApneaThose with sleep apnea suffer from both long term and short-term consequences.
Short-term consequences include:
- Day-time drowsiness
These long-term consequences include:
- Worsening of ADHD
- Heart issues such as heart attacks, heart failure and irregular heart beats
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of stroke
- Premature death