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What Are the Dangers Of Sleep Apnea?

Losing weight reduces the chance of developing sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea could lead to an auto accident.
People with sleep apnea may fall asleep unexpectedly.
For some patients, hypertension and sleep apnea are linked yet both problems often go undiagnosed.
The body needs good sleep for its health.
A man using a BiPAP breathing mask.
Article Details
  • Written By: Luke Arthur
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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The dangers of sleep apnea are numerous, with possible problems including heart attack, stroke, and even death. Individuals who suffer from sleep apnea do not sleep soundly, which can lead to a number of problems in the body, including high blood pressure, depression, and memory loss. Individuals may also be less alert and dangerously inattentive the following day as a result.

Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when an individual temporarily stops breathing during sleep. Generally, this occurs when an individual has slipped into REM sleep and is resting comfortably. Many times, the individual may go without breathing for several seconds before waking up to take a breath.

Since the individual has to wake up to take a breath, he or she will not be able to get restful sleep. Many times, this happens several times every night, and the individual may not even know it. When this occurs, a number of dangerous side effects could be possible.

There are many potential dangers of sleep apnea, including heart attack and stroke. When an individual goes without oxygen for an extended period of time, he or she could suffer one of these extremely serious conditions. Either one of these conditions could lead to serious physical damage or potentially even death. While death from sleep apnea is not common, it does occur in some cases.

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Getting good sleep is critically important for the processes in the body. When an individual does not get solid sleep consistently, he or she could suffer from a number of other problems. For example, this could lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, depression, and even memory loss. The body releases important chemicals during sleep, and when the individual does not get enough rest, these chemicals will be lacking. This condition can lead to much more serious health problems for the individual over time.

One of the more serious, if more indirect, dangers of sleep apnea is that the individual will not be alert the next day. In such situations, the lack of sleep will affect not only the individual with this condition, but may also endanger the people around him or her. If he or she is driving or operating some type of equipment, for example, this could lead to an auto accident or some other incident.

The dangers of sleep apnea are very serious, and there are options for individuals to suffer from this condition. For example, the individual could get a prescription for CPAP or BiPAP machine, sleep apnea devices that allow the user to breathe comfortably while sleeping. The first step to overcome the dangers of sleep apnea is to see a doctor so that the proper treatment can be determined.

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