Sleep apnea is a persistent health condition that can cause you to stop breathing momentarily while you sleep. Untreated, it can lead to several adverse side effects and other health conditions.

A Weakened Immune System

When left untreated, sleep apnea can make it virtually impossible for you to get a good night’s rest. The result is typically extreme fatigue. This means your body can become far more vulnerable to illness. A weakened immune system struggles to fight off sickness. During the winter, the flu virus will become a more serious threat and persistent colds can also develop.

High Blood Pressure

Known as the “silent killer”, high blood pressure takes millions of lives every year. Unfortunately, people who have untreated sleep apnea are far more prone to experiencing high blood pressure. As your body tries to recover oxygen levels lost during apneaic episodes (when you stop breathing), extra pressure is placed on the blood vessels’ walls. If you wait too long to treat sleep apnea, the risk of heart disease and stroke can increase dramatically.

Type 2 Diabetes

Sleep apnea can heighten the likelihood of type 2 diabetes. Not getting enough sleep disrupts your body’s ability to use insulin properly. Furthermore, diabetes can become more difficult to manage.

Driving and Work-Related Accidents

A lack of quality to sleep can seriously affect your level of alertness. Unsurprisingly, driving while fatigued puts you at a greater risk of having a crash. According to some researchers, it’s even more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol. At times, you may have trouble even keeping your eyes open. Accidents at work are also more likely to occur.

What Are the Best Sleep Apnea Treatments?

Luckily, sleep apnea is fairly simple to diagnose and treat. You can start by taking a simple screening to see if you’re at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you feel you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact I Need Better Sleep for an in-home sleep apnea test.