Think about what sleep apnea does; it decreases airflow into the lungs at night and lowers blood oxygen levels. This is the same effect that suffocation has on your body. With sleep apnea, it happens very slowly and goes unnoticed by the sufferer at night.
Long-term suffering of sleep apnea causes stress-related problems, most commonly hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension is a very serious condition and increases the risk of:
Also, there is strong evidence that people with untreated sleep apnea have a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Sleep apnea sufferers should also be concerned with increased daytime sleepiness. This problem doesn’t simply cause irritability; it may also lead to depression, sexual difficulties, and learning and memory problems.
More importantly, sleepiness means lack of concentration and the likelihood of sufferers falling asleep during the day. This impacts their quality of life and work, but also significantly increases the risk of industrial and automotive accidents.