Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person experiences repeated episodes of breathing cessation during sleep. It has been associated with a range of comorbidities, or health conditions that occur alongside the sleep disorder. Some common comorbidities of sleep apnea include:
High blood pressure: Sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Type 2 diabetes: Sleep apnea has also been associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The breathing disruptions that occur during sleep apnea can lead to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.
Obesity: Sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight or obese. The extra weight around the neck and throat can cause airway obstruction during sleep.
Cardiovascular disease: Sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, likely due to the repeated episodes of oxygen deprivation and stress on the cardiovascular system.
Depression and anxiety: People with sleep apnea are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, which can be related to the disruptions in sleep quality and quantity.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Sleep apnea and GERD often occur together, and treating one condition may help improve the other.
Asthma: Sleep apnea can worsen symptoms of asthma, and treating sleep apnea may improve asthma control.
These comorbidities highlight the importance of diagnosing and treating sleep apnea to help reduce the risk of associated health problems. If you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, such as snoring, gasping for air during sleep, or daytime fatigue, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for evaluation and appropriate treatment.