Side Effects of Sleep apnea on a Patient’s Physiology

Side Effects of Sleep apnea on a Patient’s Physiology

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Side Effects of Sleep apnea on a Patient’s Physiology

Side Effects of Sleep apnea on a Patient’s Physiology. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or sleep apnea is caused when there is a severe obstruction in the nasal passage hampering the normal breathing process when you sleep. This is a chronic situation where your body pauses breathing repeatedly when you fall asleep causing a lack of oxygen in the system.

What is sleep apnea?

It is a sleep disorder that a majority of the adult population suffers. In fact, a segment of the adolescent population suffering from overweight issues also seems to be prone to the same disorder.

The soft tissues in your nasal passage collapse and block the nasal passage. When a person emphasizes breathing, the gust of air entering your nasal passage gets hindered by these soft tissues causing a rumbling sound.

These unnatural pauses in normal breathing at night can cause a lot of damage to your various organ systems.

On the other hand, when a patient’s brain is unable to coordinate signals to the nasal muscles for breathing during sleeping, sleep apnea also occurs. It is a neurological disorder is called central sleep apnea.

Side effects of sleep apnea

Here is the list of side effects of snoring on different organ systems in our body.

  • Respiratory system

Sleep apnea reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood circulatory system. It increases the demand for oxygen in the entire body. This results in a chaotic situation for patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma.

  • Endocrine system

It has been found that patients suffering from sleep apnea are prone to Diabetes Type II. The probability of developing insulin resistance increases to a considerable extent. Sleep apnea also associated with cardiovascular diseases, an increase in blood pressure, elevated LDL cholesterol, etc.

  • Digestive system

Researchers suggest that patients suffering from sleep apnea are prone to fatty liver disease, elevated liver enzymes, and liver scarring. It can also worsen the gastro-esophageal reflux disorder (GERD) symptoms. In fact, the elevated symptoms of GERD can also mess with normal sleep patterns.

  • Cardiovascular system

High blood pressure and overweight are linked with sleep apnea. Apnea also causes cardiac arrhythmia and can result in a stroke. Cardiac failure is also a common side effect of sleep apnea.

  • Nervous system

The lack of oxygen in the circulatory system affects the central nervous system. A patient is unable to complete his/her sleep resulting in fatigue and sleeping disorders. Improper functioning of the central nervous system can cause tingling and numbness in different parts of a patient’s body.

  • Reproductive system

It reduces the desire for sex or libido. It can also cause erectile dysfunction and hampers the natural way of conception.

  • Other organ systems

Abnormal breathing and snoring can cause throat irritation and dry mouth. It can also cause headaches due to lack of oxygen. The person also feels irritated.


Sleep apnea reduces the level of oxygen in the blood of a patient affecting the organ systems mentioned above. Seek medical attention to get a prescribed snoring relief for your benefit. Once you start breathing normally, your life will become normal and you feel energetic.

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