Sleep Apnea is that unnerving condition when your breathing stops and starts again during sleep. The gap between stopping and starting again can seem interminable to a listener.

In severe cases, it can be challenging to share a bed with a sleep apnea sufferer. At Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates, we see sleep apnea sufferers quite often. Sometimes patients may even not know that they have the condition.

It is not a good idea to ignore sleep apnea. We tell our patients to tackle the condition as soon as possible and they will see the benefits over time.

That’s the basis of this post on sleep apnea. The following is a list of five reasons you should not procrastinate treating your sleep apnea.

1. Fatigue is not good

A constant complaint with sleep apnea sufferers is fatigue. The interrupted bad night’s sleep will affect the following day. The lack of sleep will build up over time, leading to a daily feeling of fatigue.

Being always tired is not good for a person. If you are driving or operating heavy machinery, your reactions are impaired, leading to accidents or even worse. In students, we see a drop in grade scores, as they find it difficult to concentrate and study when fatigued.

Lack of sleep also causes irritability. Depression is a common feature with those who have poor sleep patterns, and we also hear of anger issues among sleep apnea sufferers.

2. The heart may suffer

When you have sleep apnea, your breathing patterns get disrupted. You take longer to inhale with the gaps in your breathing.

This will lead to lower oxygen levels in the blood and increased pressure on the heart and lungs. An irregular heartbeat, from the lack of oxygen in the blood, can lead to heart attack and even death while sleeping.

Increased blood pressure is not good for the body; and if you already suffer from heart disease, you are adding to the risks by ignoring your sleep apnea. The side effects of high blood pressure, such as stroke and atrial fibrillation, often occur with sleep apnea patients.

3. Surgical risks

Sleep apnea is not a good condition to have when facing surgery. If you are treating the condition, then surgery may be safe. But, it is always a good idea to inform the doctor before going under anesthetic.

Your breathing needs to be under control during surgery and interruptions may lead to complications. Surgery involves deep sleep under sedation and lying on your back, two factors which often lead to sleep apnea. Therefore, it is essential to take preventative steps.

4. Type 2 diabetes and liver problems

According to recent studies, 95% of Americans with diabetes suffer from Type 2 diabetes. If you belong to an at-risk group such as family history, weight problems, or of an ethnic group prone to the condition, you need to take action.

Sleep apnea is associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes and you do not want to hurry its chances of taking over your life.

Liver problems, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, are often prevalent in sleep apnea patients. The liver affects the workings of nearly every other organ, so it is important that it functions fully.

5. Think of your partner

A common sufferer from sleep apnea is the person who does not have the condition. This is the sleep partner, the one who has to suffer through the nightly passages of interrupted sleep.

Ironically, the partner with sleep apnea often does not know the disturbances they cause. It is the caring partner who doesn’t get to relax.

In the long-term, sleep apnea can put pressure on a relationship. At Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates, we often see the sleep apnea sufferer coming in because of complaints from a husband or wife. Getting help with their sleep apnea is the nicest thing someone can do for a partner.

Consult a doctor

We see patients all the time who want to take action with their sleep apnea. They know the risks and the problems they are causing for loved ones. Schedule an appointment with Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates and don’t procrastinate treating your sleep apnea.