There has been another tragic death story of an individual who died too young when treatment would have helped to improve their health. If you have ever watched the Disney movie, “Heavyweights,” then you might know who Joseph Wayne Miller is. He played “Salami Sam” in the 1995 film, which followed the hijinks at a weight loss camp for boys. Unfortunately, he died in his sleep at the age of 36. His mother stated that he suffered from sleep apnea.

If he suffered from sleep apnea, was he not undergoing treatment for this condition? If not, why? These are all questions we are wondering, but might not receive the answers to. However, we can use his untimely death as an example for why it is so important to get treated for sleep apnea and to stick with it.

The negative effects of untreated sleep apnea

As you already know from Mr. Miller’s death, sleep apnea should never be ignored. If sleep apnea goes untreated, it can lead to further health complications and, unfortunately, death. Some of these health complications and conditions include:

  • Heart Disease – Sleep apnea can lead to heart attacks, which cause people to die in the middle of the night due to low oxygen or the stress of waking up frequently during sleep.
  • High Blood Pressure – OSA can contribute to high blood pressure due to the frequency of waking up at nighttime. This causes hormonal systems to go into overdrive.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – People suffering from type 2 diabetes will often suffer from sleep apnea, which can also lead to obesity, which is the number one cause of sleep apnea.
  • Acid Reflux – There’s no proof that sleep apnea causes acid reflux or persistent heartburn, but it has been shown that sleep apnea sufferers complain of acid reflux.
  • Obesity – A leading cause and side effect of sleep apnea, obesity raises the risk of sleep apnea due to weight gain. Losing weight can often help cure sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea can be easily treated, so why haven’t you taken the steps to improve your health? Let’s get started today. Contact us at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on sleep apnea and your options.