As Halloween approaches and the air turns crisp, we find ourselves immersed in tales of ghosts, ghouls, and things that go bump in the night. But there’s one sinister sleep disorder that doesn’t confine itself to the realm of the supernatural: sleep apnea. While it may not wear a costume or hide under your bed, this common sleep disorder can be truly frightening when it comes to your health. Join us, if you dare, as we delve into the eerie world of sleep apnea, uncovering the chilling ways in which it can haunt your health if you do not seek treatment.
The basics of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea comes in various forms, with the most common being obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Snoring and OSA are both serious sleep-related conditions, but OSA can be even more frightening to your health. Both conditions share a commonality – they involve obstructions in the airway during sleep. While snoring typically involves a partial obstruction, causing those familiar nighttime noises, OSA takes it to a much scarier level. With OSA, the airway becomes completely blocked, leading to repeated pauses in breathing. This dangerous phenomenon can occur hundreds of times a night, not only disrupting your sleep but also depriving your body of the vital oxygen it desperately needs.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how untreated sleep apnea haunts your health:
The haunting of the mind
It’s a chilling fact that individuals with untreated sleep apnea are 5 times more likely to develop depression. The connection between sleep apnea and depression is complex. Sleep disruptions caused by apnea can lead to mood swings, irritability, and an overall feeling of despair. The relentless cycle of poor sleep quality and mental health issues can leave you feeling haunted by a persistent dark cloud.
A dark shadow looming
Imagine waking up to the realization that you are nearly 4 times more likely to have a stroke due to your moderate-to-severe sleep apnea. When your breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep, your brain and body may not receive adequate oxygen. This increases the risk of blood clots and hypertension, which in turn can lead to a stroke.
The fiery curse
There’s yet another eerie statistic: individuals with untreated sleep apnea are 2.5 times more likely to develop diabetes. Sleep apnea can disrupt glucose metabolism and increase insulin resistance, setting the stage for this menacing health condition to take hold.
A grim truth
For those with moderate-to-severe sleep apnea, there’s a grim truth: they are 4 times more likely to die if they do not seek treatment. Sleep apnea can cause oxygen levels to plummet, putting immense strain on the heart and other vital organs. Left untreated, the sleep disorder can become a relentless and insidious force, silently affecting your health when you least expect it.
The heart’s final scream
In the darkest corners of sleep apnea, there’s an even more horrifying statistic: individuals with severe sleep apnea are 5 times greater risk of cardiovascular death. The disorder’s impact on the heart is truly terrifying, as it can lead to hypertension, arrhythmias, and heart failure. Left untreated, it’s a malevolent force that slowly weakens your heart, inching you closer to an ominous end.
A glimmer of hope
It’s important to note that these increased risks apply to untreated sleep apnea. The good news is that treatment can greatly reduce these risks. Long-term use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is tied to a remarkable 62% decreased risk of death for sleep apnea sufferers. Moreover, those with sleep apnea who use CPAP long-term (over 5 years) are over 5 times more likely to be alive compared to untreated individuals. So, don’t be a victim of this health-haunting specter – seek help, get treatment, and unmask the real you beneath the shadow of sleep apnea.
End the sleep apnea nightmare
Treat your sleep apnea before your health becomes a horror story. Get started by taking our sleep quiz or book a free discovery call to learn more! Or ready to get tested? Book your at-home sleep study today!