Sleep Apnea

  • Medical Author:
    Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH

    Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Causes of Fatigue Slideshow Pictures

Quick GuideSleep Disorders Pictures Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Sleeping Disorders

Sleep Disorders Pictures Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Sleeping Disorders

Why is it important to treat obstructive sleep apnea?

When a person with obstructive sleep apnea considers all the options for treatment, he or she may be tempted to not choose any of them. The masks and dental appliances have to be worn every night and the surgeries are painful and have no guarantee that they will be successful. When considering the consequences of all the treatments, however, it is important to remember that there are consequences of not receiving treatment.

It is estimated that only a small percentage of patients with obstructive sleep apnea are being treated. Some of the remaining people with obstructive sleep apnea know that they have a problem, but they choose not to pursue treatment. People with obstructive sleep apnea may have a right to accept the risks to their health that refusing treatment poses; however, when they drive they put everyone else at risk as well. People who refuse treatment for their obstructive sleep apnea should be reported to the DMV, which often will suspend their driver's licenses. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea also increases the risk of:

  • heart attacks,
  • strokes,
  • high blood pressure,
  • decreased productivity at work,
  • decreased attentiveness at home, and
  • sudden death.

If one thinks that they or someone they know may have obstructive sleep apnea, they should discuss their symptoms with the doctor as soon as possible.

Medically reviewed by Peter O’Connor, MD; American Board of Otolaryngology with subspecialty in Sleep Medicine

REFERENCE:

Downey III, Ralph, et al., "Obstructive Sleep Apnea." Medscape. 18 Sept. 2012.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/4/2015
VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Sleep Apnea - Effective Treatments

    What kinds of treatments have been effective for your sleep apnea?

    Post View 26 Comments
  • Sleep Apnea - Symptoms

    What were your sleep apnea symptoms?

    Post View 19 Comments
  • Sleep Apnea - Experience

    Were you or your partner diagnosed with sleep apnea? Please share your experience.

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors