Sleep Apnea - Complications

15 May, 2022

Sleep Apnea - Complications

Sleep Apnea - Complications

Obstructive sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. Complications can include:

  • Daytime fatigue and sleepiness. Because of a lack of restorative sleep at night, people with obstructive sleep apnea often have severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability. They might have difficulty concentrating and find themselves falling asleep at work, while watching TV or even when driving. This can put them at higher risk of work-related accidents.

Children and young people with obstructive sleep apnea might do poorly in school and commonly have attention or behavior problems.

  • Cardiovascular problems. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during obstructive sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. Many people with obstructive sleep apnea develop high blood pressure (hypertension), which can increase the risk of heart disease.

The more severe the obstructive sleep apnea, the greater the risk of coronary artery disease, heart attacks, heart failure and strokes.

Obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), which can lower blood pressure. If there's underlying heart disease, these repeated multiple episodes of arrhythmias could lead to sudden death.

  • Complications with medications and surgery. Obstructive sleep apnea is also a concern with certain medications and general anesthesia. These medications, such as sedatives, narcotic analgesics and general anesthetics, relax your upper airway and can worsen your obstructive sleep apnea.

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, having major surgery, especially after being sedated and lying on your back, can worsen breathing problems. People with obstructive sleep apnea might be more prone to complications after surgery.

Before you have surgery, tell your doctor if you have obstructive sleep apnea or symptoms related to the condition. Your doctor might want you tested for obstructive sleep apnea before surgery.

  • Eye problems. Some research has found a connection between obstructive sleep apnea and certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma. Eye complications can usually be treated.
  • Sleep-deprived partners. Loud snoring can keep those around you from getting good rest and eventually disrupt your relationships. Some partners choose to sleep in another room.

For more information kindly consult with Dr. Sunil Tanvar - +91 950 986 8888      

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The blog is written by Dr. Megha Desai