What Happens to Your Body When You Don’t Treat Sleep Apnea?
If you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) you may be hesitant to move forward with treatment. There are, however, a variety of treatments for sleep apnea. Finding one that’s right for you is crucial but treating your sleep apnea is imperative. Without treatment for your sleep apnea, you run the risk of the following health complications.
High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
Leaving your obstructive sleep apnea untreated can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. There is also a significantly increased risk of heart attack. The body needs time to rest and sleep – preferably for 7-9 hours per night, uninterrupted. Unfortunately, people with obstructive sleep apnea can wake up more than 60 times an hour, resulting in a variety of health complications, including heart disease.
Stress and Anxiety
Lack of solid sleep hours can cause high levels of stress and anxiety. Everyone experiences the occasional sleepless night and the resulting short-tempered flare that occurs, but when it is happening every night, it can begin to destabilize your relationships and impact your work and home life.
Decreased Cognitive Ability
When you don’t treat your sleep apnea and your brain doesn’t get adequate rest, it’s harder to think. You become less productive. It can be dangerous to drive and operate machinery. You may have trouble focusing or concentrating. It may impact your ability to work and can reduce your quality of life.
Increased Risk of Depression
People who suffer with sleep apnea are 3-4 times more likely to also suffer from or to develop depression. Sleep is vital to helping you manage depression. Better sleep gives you better energy to manage your day; it improves your mood. If you have a tendency toward depression or depressive thoughts, a solid night’s sleep can be a powerful treatment.
Dr. Marc Bowen is an NYC pulmonologist and sleep apnea specialist with over three decades of experience specializing in pulmonary medicine. We are dedicated to providing a personalized and convenient patient experience, offering the latest diagnostic tests and in-office procedures to help you return to your active lifestyle. If you believe that you may have sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bowen on Zocdoc or call 212-480-4062 for an evaluation. Appointments will be confirmed by office staff.