The Dangers of Untreated Sleep Disorders

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

When it comes to things like sinus issues or the common cold, we are quick to dismiss it and just let it disappear on its own. Maybe buy some over the counter medicine or stay home and sleep it away, but we very rarely run to the doctor for treatment. Unfortunately, most illnesses and disorders lack the ability to be treated the same way, and most will become increasingly worse if left untreated, often leading to irreversible damage or even death. Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, should be treated as soon as possible, but what can happen if they are left untreated?

When left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to an increased risk of many serious and potentially life-shortening problems. These problems include:
  • High blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases
  • Weight gain and metabolic issues
  • Memory problems
  • Impotence
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Increased fatigue and insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
Sleep apnea can also cause job impairment and problems operating motor vehicles, leading to motor vehicle accidents and a lack of job performance. If left completely untreated, sleep apnea is known to cause death.

The best way to avoid untreated sleep apnea is to look for signs and symptoms early on. One of the most common symptoms is snoring, and although snoring does not always mean one has sleep apnea, it is one of the first noticeable symptoms one has. The next most common is pauses in breathing while sleeping. This happens because the airways are being constricted. This could be a result of Positional or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Fatigue, frequent sleep interruptions, and dry mouth are also symptoms of sleep apnea.

If you or your bed partner have noticed that you suffer from any of these symptoms contact your doctor for a referral or find your local sleep center as possible. While there you will consult with experts to discuss the possibility of having sleep apnea and will be able to undergo a sleep study. During the sleep study, technicians will monitor you through the night and take note of any abnormalities in your sleep. These results will help your doctor in tailoring a treatment program for you.

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