Sleep apnea, an easily identifiable and treatable condition, may be an invisible and prominent cause of death in many people. It is possible that many deaths that are attributed to other causes, such as heart diseases, may have been spurred by sleep apnea. Snoring is the most common precursor of apneas, but because it is such a common occurrence, this serious and sometimes fatal disorder goes undiagnosed. Millions of people suffer from apneas, the obstruction of airflow during sleep, and many of those millions have never received a proper diagnosis; many more never will.
Ignorance of the symptoms and treatments that can prevent sleep apnea is the leading cause of death related to apneas, but there are also many serious medical problems that are associated with sleep apnea. A low blood oxygen level, caused by disrupted breathing, is a particularly dangerous side-effect of sleep apnea in people suffering from coronary artery disease. In cases such as this, the person affected could suffer from ventricular arrhythmias and sudden nocturnal death.
Sleep apnea could also be a serious contributing factor to heart failure. Heart failure is an epidemic that affects about ten percent of the American population. During obstructive sleep apnea, when airflow is restricted, the right side of the heart suffers serious damage; it has to pump harder to support all of the extra effort the lungs are putting forth to try and surpass the obstruction in the airway and get oxygen cycling through the body. High blood pressure is also a huge risk associated with apneas. High blood pressure can lead to heart failure and strokes. If you suffer from high blood pressure, it is very important to try and find the underlying cause; too often sleep apnea is overlooked because medical professionals jump to more obvious conclusions.
Fatigue is another serious side-effect of sleep apnea that can not be ignored. Accidents happen in surplus all over the world that are a direct result of human fatigue. Fatigue makes concentration and alertness extremely difficult, and in some cases impossible. Since apnea sufferers often suffer from insomnia as well, it is important to be aware of the repercussions of poor sleeping patterns. People who suffer from consistent interruption of sleep can expect to see deterioration of motor skills and difficulty in daily functioning. The disruption of daily functioning can lead to motor vehicle and machinery accidents.
Identifying the cause of fatigue, heart and blood problems, and snoring are some of the easiest ways to prevent death caused by sleep apneas. There are various different ways to treat all kinds of apneas, whether they be central or obstructive; if handled properly people with the disorder will not have to live in fear of dying because of it.