Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. Complications arised from sleep apnea may include:
- Daytime fatigue and sleepiness: Repeated awakenings associated with sleep apnea make normal, restorative sleep impossible. People with OSA often experience severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability. They may have difficulty concentrating and find themselves falling asleep at work, while watching TV or even when driving. This is extremely dangerous if you are a commercial driver or operating heavy machinery at work. Children and young people may do poorly in school and commonly have attention or behavior problems.
- Cardiovascular problems: Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. Many people with sleep apnea develop high blood pressure (hypertension), which can increase the risk of heart disease. Sleep apnea also increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). These abnormal rhythms can lower blood oxygen levels. If there’s underlying heart disease, these repeated multiple episodes of low blood oxygen could lead to sudden death.
- Complications with medications and surgery: If you have OSA, you may experience worse breathing problems after major surgery, especially after being sedated. People with OSA may be more prone to complications after surgery.
- Eye problems:Some research has found a connection between OSA and certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma.
- Sleep-deprived partners: Loud snoring can keep those around you from getting good rest and eventually disrupt your relationships. Some partners may even choose to sleep in another room. Many bed partners of people who snore are sleep deprived as well.