If you snore at night, you’re probably aware of how frustrating it can be to your family. They complain that it keeps them awake half the night, but is it really that big of a deal?
If you’re curious about your snoring, it’s generally a good idea to talk to your health care provider. Snoring is only one of the many symptoms of sleep apnea, a disorder known for causing interrupted breathing during the night. While snoring seems benign, sleep apnea is not. Sleep apnea has many deadly adverse effects including the development of kidney disease.
What is Kidney Disease?
Your kidneys are responsible for filtering your blood, producing urine to excrete excess salt and minerals, and also to produce certain hormones. Kidney disease occurs when your kidneys become damaged and are unable to properly filter your blood. This unfiltered blood builds up in your system leading to swelling, breathing problems, and even heart trauma. Kidney disease is separated by stages, each stage growing progressively worse. In many cases, you’ll need to have a procedure performed called “dialysis” where the excess fluid accumulated in your body is removed via a catheter in your abdomen or your arm. For most, dialysis is painless but comes with risks of infection or hypovolemia, the removal of too much fluid.
How Does Sleep Apnea Cause Kidney Disease?
When sleep apnea is left untreated, your blood oxygen level decreases hundreds of times every night. All of your organs require oxygen to function, and when the blood supplying the kidneys is depleted of oxygen, the area in the kidney responsible for blood filtration is damaged. Once damaged, the kidney’s ability to filter your blood falters, and the symptoms of kidney disease, such as swelling, fatigue, or the development of skin rashes begin to appear. If the kidney continues to lack oxygen, these symptoms will grow progressively worse and in time become deadly.
What if I Already Have Kidney Disease?
Having a diagnosis of sleep apnea on top of kidney disease is understandably scary. Studies show that having sleep apnea can increase the risk of forming kidney disease related complications as well as your mortality rate.
Still, there is hope. Continuous positive airway pressure therapy administered via a CPAP machine is the most commonly prescribed medical treatment for sleep apnea. This treatment restores oxygen to your blood by opening your windpipe during the night, thus preventing those momentary lapses in breathing. The use of CPAP treatment with a sleep apnea mask is shown to decrease the severity of kidney disease symptoms such as high blood pressure.
CPAP therapy is painless and will start relieving the uncomfortable symptoms of sleep apnea immediately. Snoring will be eliminated and you’ll be sleeping more comfortably all night long. Whether you have just found out you have sleep apnea and want to prevent kidney damage or you have kidney disease and would like to help prevent worsening symptoms, CPAP therapy will improve your quality of life. Breatheeasycpap.com is an online CPAP retailer created by certified respiratory therapists. There you find a variety of quality, comfortable CPAP and sleep apnea supplies to help get your health back on track.