When you get a bad night’s sleep, you likely feel unrested and unmotivated the next day. If this becomes a daily occurrence, you’ll feel fatigued. Can poor sleep quality impact your health? Although there isn’t conclusive evidence, research indicates that untreated sleep apnea can shorten your lifespan by several years. Follow ApneaMed explores how untreated sleep apnea can wreak havoc on your health and shorten your life expectancy.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder caused by collapsing soft tissue in the individual’s throat. When the soft tissue collapses, it causes a blockage in their airway and leaves them choking or gasping for air in an attempt to reopen the airway. The breathing stoppages can last a few seconds to a few minutes.
Frequently, the individual isn’t aware that they’re choking in their sleep and is often noticed by a family member or partner who witnesses them stop breathing. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to other serious health problems, so it’s essential to undergo a sleep study if you suspect you have sleep apnea.
The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Life Expectancy
When you experience frequent breathing disruptions, your heart rate and oxygen levels drop until your body has a panic reaction and chokes or gasps to reopen the airway. This frequent rise and fall of the body’s oxygen levels and heart rate stresses the body. Over time, this increase in stress can take a severe toll on a person’s health.
While they will initially feel side effects such as fatigue, mood swings, lack of motivation, and low energy, the long-term consequences may not be noticeable right away. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep apnea increases your risk of death by 17% through the following health conditions:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Heart rhythm problems
Each of these health conditions can decrease an individual’s life expectancy, so it is critical to get tested for sleep apnea if the symptoms are present. Getting the treatment you need will help you avoid a decreased life expectancy caused by untreated sleep apnea.
Get Tested for Sleep Apnea with ApneaMed
If you’re having difficulty getting a good night’s rest, it’s time to consider getting tested for obstructive sleep apnea to ensure your health isn’t at risk. For a convenient and affordable option, ApneaMed offers a home sleep study that can be self-administered in the comfort of your own home — saving you both time and money.
With a home sleep study, the test is delivered directly to your front door to administer yourself. During the night, the device will monitor and record your blood oxygen levels, blood oxygen saturation, breathing and heart rates, and more to gather important information that one of ApneaMed’s board-certified sleep physicians can review. If diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, our team will provide a recommended treatment plan to get your sleep apnea under control.
The most common form of sleep apnea treatment is AutoPAP therapy. An AutoPAP machine offers both a continuous mode (otherwise known as CPAP) and an auto-adjusting mode, allowing you to determine which feels best for you. The auto-adjusting mode ensures you receive the ideal air pressure throughout the entire night, no matter the sleep stage or position you’re sleeping in.
ApneaMed offers various home sleep tests and in-home breathing equipment to help you treat obstructive sleep apnea and increase your life expectancy. Contact our team to learn more.