The Effects of Sleep Apnea on the Body
Do you wake up with a dry mouth? Do you snore? Do you feel drowsy even after 8 hours of sleep?
If you relate to any of these symptoms, you might have sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that makes you stop breathing while sleeping.
This happens either because of-
- Blockage of your airway, i.e., obstructive sleep apnea, or
- Your brain doesn’t correctly control your breathing, i.e., central apnea.
The resulting lack of oxygen wakes you up to resume breathing, interrupting your sleep cycle and restful sleep. Sleep apnea has been linked to various health problems.
Risk factors of sleep apnea
Some factors that can increase your risk of sleep apnea include:
- Increased age
- Genetics or family history
- Obesity or excess weight
- Being male
- Thicker neck circumference
- Nasal congestion
- Use of alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers
Symptoms of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea can be identified with one or more of these symptoms.
- Frequent waking
- Episodes in which you stop breathing or gasping during sleep
- Awakening with a dry mouth
- Morning headache
- Night sweats
- Difficulty staying asleep, known as insomnia.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, known as hypersomnia
- Difficulty paying attention while awake
- Restlessness and irritability
If you have any of the above symptoms, you may consult our best ent doctor in Dubai for seeking sleep apnea treatment.
Effects of sleep apnea on the Body
Sleep apnea can substantially affect various parts of your body. Some of the most complications of untreated sleep apnea include the following:
One of the biggest effects of sleep apnea on the body is daytime fatigue. Since you’re not getting enough sleep throughout the night, your body isn’t adequately rested when you wake up.
This affects your mood, cognitive ability, muscle pain, and physical activity level. Sleep apnea and muscle pain are interrelated as sleep apnea patients often complain of muscle pain with poor sleep quality and quantity, leading to fatigue.
Sleep apnea can negatively impact your cognitive function and contribute to memory loss and forgetfulness.
While these complications tend to affect older individuals, sleep apnea can cause decreased concentration and attention, impaired motor skills, and memory functioning.
Obstructive sleep apnea has been scientifically linked to metabolic syndrome. It is a set of risk factors that raises the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other health issues. Individuals who suffer from metabolic syndrome have at least three of the following conditions:
- High blood sugar
- Low levels of good cholesterol
- High levels of abdominal fat
- High blood pressure
The constant cycle of waking up throughout the night puts a lot of added stress on your body. This can raise the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure.
The lack of inhaled oxygen due to obstructions can also aggravate this issue. Sleep apnea is even more problematic for individuals with high blood pressure.
Heart disease and stroke
Due to the increase in blood pressure, lower levels of oxygen, and accompanying changes in blood flow, individuals with sleep apnea are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. This increases the risk of irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, and strokes.
Type 2 diabetes
Sleep apnea affects about 80% of persons with type 2 diabetes. Sleep deprivation can increase insulin resistance and raise your blood sugar levels. Suppose you have sleep apnea and other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Sleep apnea also impacts your body’s hormones that control hunger. When you’re not getting enough sleep, the hormone ghrelin is produced in excess. Ghrelin can increase your cravings for unhealthy foods like simple carbohydrates and sugar.
Conversely, the hormone leptin decreases, signaling you to stop eating once your stomach is full. This can lead to weight gain, consequently worsening sleep apnea.
Sleep deprivation can increase the concentration of liver enzymes in your body. This can lead to liver problems worsened by alcohol use and certain medications. In some cases, individuals with sleep apnea have been reported to have fatty liver.
Depression and anxiety
Sleep apnea is associated with major depression, regardless of factors like weight, age, sex, or race.
Obesity, daytime sleepiness, low physical activity, insomnia, low quality of life, and the use of sleep medication are all related to depression.
Consult Dr. Peter Baptista for Sleep Apnea Treatment in Dubai
If you’re looking for sleep and the best ENT doctor in Dubai who can treat sleep apnea, Dr. Peter Baptista is an excellent choice.
Dr. Peter Baptista is a highly revered sleep and ENT doctor and one of the best doctors for sleep apnea treatment in Dubai. He profoundly understands the condition and can offer a range of effective treatments to help his patients sleep better, thus improving overall health.
If you seek a comprehensive treatment plan or just a diagnosis, Dr. Baptista can provide the expert care you need to address your sleep apnea symptoms.
Dr Peter Baptista Jardin
European Board Certified ENT Doctor In Dubai
Dr. Peter Baptista Jardin is an ENT specialist with a special interest in treating sleep apnea. He is a revered expert in Spain for performing the first ever robotic transoral surgery in 2011, and the only series of hypoglossal nerve stimulation proved revolutionary for obstructive sleep apnea treatment worldwide. He currently serves as an ENT doctor in Dubai’s Al Zahra Hospital.