Snoring and Obstructive Sleep apnea can lead to a number of complications, ranging from daytime sleepiness to possible increased risk of death. Sleep apnea has a strong association with several diseases, particularly those related to the heart and circulation.
• High Blood Pressure- Many people with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) develop high blood pressure (hypertension). If you have high blood pressure, your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as a heart attack or stroke, is also increased.
• Heart attack – a serious condition that is caused by a blood clot blocking the supply of blood to the heart
• Stroke – a serious medical condition that is caused by a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain
• Obesity – a condition in which a person is carrying too much body fat for their height and sex
• Type 2 diabetes – a long-term condition that is caused by too much sugar (glucose) in the blood.
• Stroke -due to hypoxia to the brain
• Silent death in sleep
Daytime sleepiness, fatigue, frequent naps, headaches, irritability, insomnia, and poor memory and attention are some of the other common symptoms associated with sleep apnea as a result of insufficient sleep. Daytime sleepiness can also increase the risk for accident-related injuries. Several studies have suggested that people with sleep apnea have two to three times as many car accidents, and five to seven times the risk for multiple accidents.
Sex and snoring
Because sleep apnea so often includes noisy snoring, the condition can also adversely affect the sleep quality of a patient’s bed partner. Spouses or partners may also suffer from sleeplessness and fatigue. In some cases, the snoring can disrupt relationships. Diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea in the patient can help eliminate these problems.
Studies report an association between severe apnea and psychological problems. The risk for depression rises with increasing severity of sleep apnea. Sleep-related breathing disorders can also worsen nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea in Children
Failure to Thrive. Small children with undiagnosed sleep apnea may “fail to thrive,” that is, they do not gain weight or grow at a normal rate and they have low levels of growth hormone. In severe cases, this may affect the heart and central nervous system.
Attention Deficits and Hyperactivity. Problems in attention and hyperactivity are common in children with sleep apnea. There is some evidence that such children may be misdiagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Snoring, rather than sleepiness, is a stronger risk factor for hyperactivity in many of these children, especially boys under 8 years old.