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Last Updated on September 22, 2023

Untreated sleep apnea life expectancy – Introduction

Obstructive sleep apnea, or more commonly sleep apnea, is the most frequent sleep-related breathing issue faced by people. Those with obstructive sleep apnea suffer repeated stoppage of breathing during sleep. learn more about untreated sleep apnea life expectancy.

Untreated sleep apnea life expectancy depends on the severity of the condition. There are multiple types of sleep apnea. Generally, sleep apnea happens when the muscles in the throat relax too much and block the airway, and this can occur multiple times throughout sleep. Snoring can also be taken as a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. There are many treatments available for obstructive sleep apnea ranging from a device that uses pressure to keep the airway open all night, to a mouthpiece. The mouthpiece moves the jaw forward during sleep. In severe cases, surgery may be a valid option.

Untreated sleep apnea can cause a lot of problems for those who have this condition. Over the long run, this can lead to depressive disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD). Revive Research Institute conducts clinical trials for major depressive disorder. If you or your loved ones are battling this debilitating condition, consider participating in our obstructive sleep apnea clinical trials.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

To understand the untreated sleep apnea life expectancy, one must first understand what obstructive sleep apnea is and how it happens. As mentioned earlier, obstructive sleep apnea arises due to airway blockage on lying down. These are due to:

  • Your throat muscles or tongue relaxing to the point of blocking your airway
  • Excess body weight and fat deposits in the throat region
  • Excessively enlarged tonsils that could block the airway

As a result, due to blockage of the airway, enough oxygen cannot reach your brain. In response, the body releases certain stress hormones that can pose a risk to your overall health.

The combination of less oxygen reaching the brain and more stress hormones acts as a two-way sword and damages different body parts. These can include heart issues, blood-sugar abnormalities, mental disorders, and much more.

Now that we have established what sleep apnea is, let us discuss untreated sleep apnea life expectancy.

Is Neglecting Sleep Apnea Potentially Hazardous?

Long-term sleep apnea is strongly related to an elevated risk of many health issues. Factors that can affect untreated sleep apnea life expectancy include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Reduced lifespan 

Furthermore, sleep apnea’s side effects, like daytime exhaustion, can lead to persistent mood alterations. Untreated sleep apnea life expectancy can further be affected by:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Drowsy driving behavior (drowsy driving behavior can have very serious consequences as it can result in road traffic accidents) 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The symptoms of sleep apnea are often unrecognized because they manifest during sleep. Typically, it is a sleeping partner who alerts someone to the possibility of having this condition. Common symptoms encompass:

  1. Snoring
  2. Intermittent breathing pauses
  3. Occasional gasping for air while asleep
  4. Brief nocturnal awakenings, which may or may not be remembered
  5. Insomnia
  6. Restlessness while in bed
  7. Morning headaches
  8. Dry mouth upon waking
  9. Daytime grogginess and tiredness
  10. Difficulty concentrating
  11. Negative mood, including depression or anxiety 

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea life expectancy is lower in individuals who are more likely to develop sleep apnea. These may include individuals who are:

  1. Male
  2. Obese
  3. Undergoing menopause
  4. Over the age of 60
  5. Taking opioids to relieve pain
  6. Having preexisting heart disease or diabetes 

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Treatment for sleep apnea is crucial to minimize the risk of health complications. Most of these treatments are designed to keep oxygen flowing to your brain while you sleep comfortably.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine:

The CPAP device delivers a steady stream of air through the nose, keeping the airway open and reducing stress hormones.

Custom-fitted mouthguard:

Designed to position the tongue and jaw to prevent airway obstruction.

Nerve stimulator:

An implanted device that stimulates a nerve to prevent tongue-related airway blockage.
Surgery: Removal of soft tissue from the nose or throat to clear the airway during sleep.

How to Care for Sleep Apnea?

There are several essential steps you can take to effectively manage untreated sleep apnea life expectancy:

Implement lifestyle adjustments as best as possible:

Modifying your lifestyle by changing your diet and physical activity routine may initially be a struggle. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that struggling with these changes is common, and there’s no need to feel embarrassed about discussing these challenges with others around you including your healthcare provider. They can offer support to help you minimize or overcome these obstacles.

Adhere closely to your treatment plan:

Individuals who strictly follow their treatment regimens and incorporate these changes into their daily routines are more likely to achieve good results.

Effectively communicate your experiences with your healthcare provider:

If you encounter difficulties with a CPAP device due to issues like mask fitting or pressure settings, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about your worries. Many people face such challenges, and your provider can assist you in addressing these concerns, adhering to your treatments, and ensuring you enjoy restful nights of sleep.

Attend scheduled appointments with your provider:

Follow-up visits, especially in the early stages of treatment, are vital to ensure that your treatments for the effects of untreated sleep apnea life expectancy yield the desired results.

Untreated sleep apnea life expectancy – Conclusion

As it turns out eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising are not the only factors that can manage heart health—having a sound sleep is just as important. And so, questions about untreated sleep apnea life expectancy can come up in many people’s minds.

This blog aimed to answer some of those queries about untreated sleep apnea life expectancy by delving into the details of obstructive sleep apnea. Revive Research Institute is a prominent clinical research trial organization, spanned across Michigan. We offer a wide array of clinical trials, such as pulmonology clinical trials where we are trying to help people with obstructive sleep apnea. These trials are designed to help people manage their symptoms and offer possible treatment options.

Dr. Hamza Nadeem

Dr. Muhammad Hamza Nadeem currently works as a Patient Recruitment Associate. He has a firm grip on the medical research process and patient safety in clinical trials. His experience in writing combined with an academic background in medical science makes him well-suited to assist individuals in clinical trial participation.

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Revive Research Institute, Inc.

28270 Franklin Road
Southfield, MI

T: 248-564-1485