What are the possible complications of sleep apnea if left untreated?

This question was asked in Irvine, California on 03/29/2013.
What are the possible complications of sleep apnea if left untreated?

Doctors Answers (4)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 4/17/2013

Untreated sleep apnea may lead to high blood pressure which may lead to a stroke or heart attack. These are the more serious complications but daytime sleepiness with an increase risk for automobile accidents, loss of work, depression and irritability are common issues. Other issues include the effect of snoring on the bed partner, difficulty maintaining a normal body weight and loss of libido and impotence.

Jana P. Kaimal, MD, FCCP
Answered on: 4/5/2013 7

Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to a host of other medical issues. Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol and even death. If believe you or someone you love might have sleep apnea, it's best to get it checked out by a qualified sleep specialist.

Daron Scherr, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 4/5/2013 1

High blood pressure, insulin resistance, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, attention deficit problems, motor vehicle accidents, depression, seizures, etc.

In fact, a recent study indicated a 500% increased risk of 20 different cancers with untreated moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Vector Sleep Diagnostics Center
Answered on: 4/1/2013 1

Untreated sleep apnea may result in low oxygen and impaired circulation to vital organs of human body- brain, heart, kidneys. As a result of impaired blood circulation patients may develop various medical problems and symptoms- fatigue, memory loss, headaches, strokes, high blood pressure, mood disorders, insomnia among others. Weight gait and diabetes may worsen as well. It is always a good idea to check with your primary care physician or sleep disorder specialist to see what is the best treatment for you (particularly if initial treatment failed or could not be tolerated well).