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Sleep apnea is a common yet dangerous sleep disorder that interrupts your breathing while you sleep. While some people chalk it up to loud snoring throughout the night, sleep apnea can cause serious health complications to worsen or harmful injuries to occur.

In this article, we’re addressing questions patients and loved ones frequently ask about the dangers and risks of sleep apnea.

Can Sleep Apnea Cause High Blood Pressure?

Yes. Sleep apnea causes you to experience rapid and sometimes prolonged drops in blood oxygen. When the brain does not receive adequate oxygen levels, it signals the release of stress hormones, helping raise blood pressure, heart rate, and hopefully oxygen levels temporarily. The more your body enters this cycle, the more likely you are to develop high blood pressure.

Along with high blood pressure, sleep apnea patients risk experiencing serious complications, including:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Hypoxemia

Am I Still Getting Good Rest with Sleep Apnea?

No. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you probably feel exhausted throughout the day. As you struggle to breathe at night, your body struggles to enter the necessary phases of deep, restorative sleep. This lack of deep, non-REM sleep will likely keep you groggy, fatigued, and irritable during the day.

In fact, patients with untreated sleep apnea are at an increased risk of experiencing a car accident or a workplace injury.

Can Sleep Apnea Complicate My Ability to Have Surgery?

Yes. Patients with sleep apnea are more likely to develop complications under general anesthesia. Sedation and body position can further hinder your ability to breathe clearly, leading to several possible complications during or after surgery. If you have sleep apnea and are considering surgery for any medical condition, talk to your doctor or surgeon about your sleep apnea and current treatment plan beforehand.

What Are the Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea?

Several risk factors can increase your chance of developing sleep apnea, including:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Chronic smoking
  • Family history
  • Having certain medical conditions like:
    • Asthma
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Hormonal disorders
    • Parkinson’s
  • Larger neck
  • Narrow airway
  • Obesity
  • Older age

Sleep apnea is a frustrating and dangerous condition that is treatable at Athens Oral Surgery Center.

Dr. Tomlinson and the team at AOSC can diagnose and treat your sleep apnea with exceptional care to help restore quality sleep and improve your health. Schedule a consultation with our office today: 706-549-5033

Related articles:

How to Improve Your Sleep (And Eliminate Sleep Apnea)

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Different Sleep Stages?