If your spouse snores really bad and if he or she gasps for air while sleeping, there is a good chance your spouse may suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that affects many people, and it can lead to major health problems if left untreated. Here are three problems sleep apnea can lead to if a person does not seek treatment for it.
High blood pressure
The first health risk is high blood pressure. Sleep apnea is a condition that makes a person unable to breathe properly when asleep. When the person reaches a deep sleep, the muscles and tissue in the airway get in the way of breathing. This causes the person to actually stop breathing. As soon as this happens, the person's brain is alerted and a signal is sent to the heart to beat faster and harder. The end result of this is overworking of the heart, and the first problem this can lead to is high blood pressure.
When the heart is working too hard too often, it makes it wear out. Over time, this can lead to heart disease. In addition, sleep apnea that is left untreated can also put a person at a higher risk for experiencing a stroke or heart attack. The only way to reduce these risks is to get treatment for the problem.
In addition, it's also important to understand how sleep apnea can affect the mind and body in terms of mental state. A person with sleep apnea never really gets enough sleep. The process that occurs each night when the person stops breathing actually disrupts the person's sleep. As this happens night after night, the person is likely to start experiencing problems with fatigue and a loss of energy. It may be hard for the person to stay awake while driving, and it may be hard for him or her to focus and concentrate at work. This can also lead to irritability, depression, and a whole host of other issues.
If you are seeing any of these symptoms with your spouse, it is likely that he or she has sleep apnea. If you would like to find out, ask your spouse to visit a dentist or doctor for help. A professional like Jerry C Hu DDS Family Dentistry LLC can evaluate your spouse's health condition to determine if this is what he or she has. If so, your spouse can get the treatment needed. To learn more, contact a dental clinic today.