Untreated Sleep Apnoea
It can be quite easy to dismiss symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea as one offs, or become used to dealing with short term problems such as daytime tiredness. However, research is showing that it is the long term effects of untreated Sleep Apnoea that are dangerous.
Issues begin with OSA as stress is placed on the heart during sleep due to the frequent reduction in blood oxygen levels throughout the night. This activates the part of the nervous system responsible for the hearts performance.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common medical condition among those with obstructive sleep apnoea, where approximately 50% of those diagnosed with OSA have hypertension. Hypertension itself is a risk factor in longer term cardiovascular disease, leading to heart attacks and chronic chest pain.
As OSA is closely linked to obesity and the apnoea episodes raise blood sugar levels during sleep, patients can develop type 2 diabetes if left untreated. Research shows that treatment of OSA may improve blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.