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What are the side effects of untreated sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea, if left untreated can lead to serious short-term and long term side effects. These may include irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart diseases such as heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and driving or work-related accidents.

Obstructive sleep apnea may lead to the following health risks:

  • High blood pressure and heart diseases: Untreated sleep apnea may worsen hypertension and make it difficult to control your blood pressure even with medications. It is also a risk factor for heart attack, blood clots in the legs, and stroke.
  • Difficulty in concentrating: Sleep apnea can affect your ability to think clearly, which may lead to poor work performance.
  • Mental health conditions: Sleep apnea is associated with emotional concerns and may increase the risk of developing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
  • Complications during surgery: Untreated sleep apnea may increase the risk of developing complications such as airway obstruction and abnormal heart rhythms during surgery.
Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/