So you have been diagnosed with Obstructive sleep Apnea and you think that it is not that big a deal. You are sure that it is one of those mild disorders that you can live with, without facing any disruption in your normal life. I hear you. It doesn’t make sense to take stress about each alarming sign.
However, some concern here would help. Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA is an increasingly common albeit serious disorder which requires proper attention. According to a study, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) has been recognised as a major cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries like India. If you aren’t alarmed yet, here are 10 ways sleep apnea is stealthily creeping into your lifestyle and damaging it.
- It can trigger heart related problems: You know it is serious when a healthy heart is at stake. Untreated sleep apnea can increase your risk of high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, stroke and even total heart failure.
- Your professional life can go for a toss: How much can feeling sleepy throughout in office cost you? Well, it can put your profession at stake. Not getting adequate sleep or getting disrupted sleep can ruin your next day in a number of ways. You ought to feel sleepy throughout the day, your concentration level would get affected and most importantly, your productivity would get ruined.
- It can push you towards depression: Depression is a condition that is neither easily diagnosed, nor is it easily treated. A good night’s sleep is extremely important for a healthy and happy life. With untreated sleep apnea, you might stay irritable all day long and gradually plunge into depression.
- Your immune system can go for a toss: While we are asleep, our body works. A good night’s sleep is important for proper maintenance of various bodily functions and especially for the immune system. Continued lack of sleep can make you vulnerable towards various infections.
- It can affect your sex life: Sleep apnea can curb your sexual desire by driving down hormone levels. In men, untreated sleep apnea can also contribute to erectile dysfunction.
- It can cause liver problems: Sleep apnea has been linked with fatty liver disease and higher than normal levels of liver enzymes.
- It can affect your driving skills: When you feel groggy and sleepy throughout the day, it is not such a good idea to get behind the steering wheel. Sleep apnea patients are highly vulnerable to road accidents as they can fall asleep even while driving.
- It can contribute to memory loss: Getting adequate sleep helps consolidate memories. People with untreated sleep apnea are twice as likely to experience memory loss at an early age as compared to others.
As scary as all this may sound, Sleep Apnea is not complex to deal with. If you see a doctor in the early stages, you can control this condition, and in some cases even cure it. After an elaborate sleep study at home, based on the results your doctor can recommend a machine called CPAP ( Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to use while sleeping. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a healthy lifestyle is still just a few steps away.