Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is linked to high blood pressure, especially in cases where both conditions are unmanaged. Existing hypertension can be worsened by the presence of sleep apnea, and according to some claims, hypertension can also intensify the severity of sleep apnea in patients with both conditions. Poor sleep and constant sleep interruptions put the body and mind in a state of stress, which triggers the release of stress hormones. These hormones increase blood pressure and may contribute to weight gain (which can also increase blood pressure and/or worsen OSA).
Individuals with sleep apnea tend to wake up frequently throughout the night, and in addition to this, they don’t get enough oxygen during sleep. Combined with the additional effects that sleep apnea can lead to, these factors increase an individual’s likelihood of developing heart disease.
In addition to heart disease, strokes and atrial fibrillation are also not uncommon in individuals with untreated sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea, especially untreated sleep apnea, can mimic some of the symptoms of ADHD. Because individuals with OSA don’t get enough oxygen during sleep and experience frequent sleep disruptions, they may have a hard time concentrating on daily activities. This lack of focus may be indicative of ADHD, but it may also point toward general tiredness that sleep apnea causes.
Diabetes Type II
Sleep apnea commonly occurs in individuals who suffer from Type II Diabetes. According to medical research, this may be because blood sugar levels tend to be somewhat higher in people who deal with unmanaged OSA. In addition, OSA can increase a person’s odds of gaining weight due to the way stress responses trigger cortisol production. Cortisol makes it much easier for individuals to gain weight. These factors combined can make it quite common for diabetic patients to develop OSA and vice versa.
If you find that you’re dealing with one or several symptoms that indicate you may have sleep apnea, it’s in your best interest to schedule an appointment with an experienced dental care provider. A skilled dentist can diagnose the condition and provide management options that will promote better health in individuals with OSA.