Sleep apnea is dangerous in part because it remains a poorly understood and underdiagnosed condition. Many people ignore the symptoms like daytime sleepiness, which may seem innocuous at first. This is part of the reason why up to 80% of sleep apnea cases are undiagnosed–and therefore untreated.
On the other hand, people understand the risks of hypertension–high blood pressure. People understand that this carries serious consequences, and they regularly have their blood pressure checked by their doctors. Medications for high blood pressure are regularly prescribed and diligently taken.
We hope that by communicating that sleep apnea’s risks are similar to those of high blood pressure, more people will take sleep apnea seriously.
One thing that the two conditions share is their ability to impact your entire body. Obviously, blood flows through all your organs and high blood pressure can cause serious damage to these delicate organs.
High blood pressure can damage the delicate filtration system in your kidneys. It can also damage blood vessels in the brain, increasing the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. It can also increase the risk of ischemic stroke by carrying pieces of arterial plaque to the brain. High blood flow can damage delicate blood vessels in the eyes, leading to a loss of vision. The body may harvest calcium from the bones, too, accelerating osteoporosis. And high blood pressure also puts stress on the heart, increasing heart risks like angina and heart failure.
Sleep apnea carries all these risks in part because it increases the risk of high blood pressure. When your brain senses a lack of oxygen, it drives the heart to pump harder and faster, leading to high blood pressure. Sleep apnea has even been implicated in causing medication-resistant hypertension, which can be hard to control.
And in addition to high blood pressure, sleep apnea can increase risks of other systemic conditions like diabetes.
With all these risks, it’s important that people get checked for sleep apnea and get effective treatment.
Why an Infographic?
So why did we decide to share an infographic about these conditions? Three reasons. First, we’ve talked about this subject before–and it’s good to communicate ideas differently to reach different people.
Second, an infographic communicates the information very clearly and concisely. People can look at the graphic and understand that these conditions affect their entire body. And they can understand that both conditions share these risks.
Finally, an infographic is highly shareable, which may extend the reach of this message. The more people who understand the seriousness of sleep apnea, the better.
Looking for Sleep Apnea Treatment in Sydney?
And if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you need to find an effective treatment that you’ll actually use. At My Hills Dentist, you can work with a sleep dentist who can fit you with an oral appliance that will help you breathe easy while you sleep.
For more information about sleep apnea treatment in Sydney, please call (02) 9686 7375 today for an appointment at our office in Baulkham Hills.