What Are the Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea?

What Are the Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea?

Nov 01, 2022

Do you ever wake up feeling tired even after a whole night’s sleep? While many reasons explain the reduced sleep quality, you cannot overlook sleeping disorders. Many people lead unhealthy lives because of corrupted sleeping patterns. One of the most common sleeping disorders that can direly impact your health is sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

It is a sleep-related respiratory disorder that affects people when they sleep at night. Sleep apnea in Laguna Beach features repeated episodes where you stop breathing as you sleep. The episodes can last for a few seconds or minutes. The longer you stay without breathing, the more adverse the consequences of your sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition that can affect anyone. However, it is more common among older people, especially men. Various factors can increase your risk of getting sleep apnea.

How Can You Tell You Have Sleep Apnea?

Unfortunately, you may not know you suffer from sleep apnea unless the condition is severe and persistent. Usually, it takes a keen eye to identify anomalies in your breathing patterns when you sleep. You may need help from your partner or family member to identify various aspects of your sleeping and breathing patterns at night.

The most common sign of sleep apnea is loud snoring when you sleep. Patients who snore at night should be keen to identify any other accompanying symptoms that may indicate sleep apnea. They include:

  1. Gasping for air mid-sleep
  2. Lack of good quality sleep – you may keep waking up in the middle of the night, disrupting healthy sleep patterns.
  3. Morning migraine headaches
  4. Being extremely thirsty in the morning
  5. Sore throat
  6. Excessive daytime sleepiness
  7. Fatigue even after a full night’s sleep
  8. Difficulty concentrating or remembering things

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

The cause of sleep apnea is an obstructed airway. Usually, the throat muscles collapse, blocking the airway and limiting air circulation. Many factors can lead to an obstructed airway, including the following risk factors:

  1. Smoking and heavy consumption of tobacco products
  2. Excessive consumption of alcohol
  3. Genetics and family history
  4. Being overweight or obese
  5. Having a thick neck circumference
  6. Aging
  7. Poor sleeping positions

Must You Visit A Doctor For Sleep Apnea Treatment?

The good news about sleep apnea is that a dentist in Laguna Beach can diagnose and treat it. You do not always have to visit a sleep doctor to resolve your sleeping disorder.

When dentists recommend various treatment options, it is because they understand the complexities of sleep apnea near you. Although it seems like a mere sleeping disorder, it is a potentially life-threatening condition when it goes untreated.

What Can Happen If You Do Not Treat Sleep Apnea?

Some of the adverse implications of leaving sleep apnea untreated are:

  1. Strokes and heart failure
  2. Amnesia due to memory problems
  3. Chronic Insomnia – an inability to sleep at night
  4. Severe mood swings that lead to anxiety and depression
  5. Arrhythmia – Irregular heartbeat
  6. Hypertension
  7. Diabetes
  8. Hypoxia – a condition of persistent low oxygen levels in your system.
  9. Obesity and weight-related health problems

Treatment Options Available for Sleep Apnea

If you notice irregular breathing patterns at night, consider visiting us at Laguna Family Dentistry for diagnosis and treatment. We offer various solutions for obstructive sleep apnea, including the following:

  1. Avoid certain medications like sleeping pills.
  2. Recommendations for lifestyle changes – include physical exercises, quitting smoking and alcohol, and changing your sleeping position.
  3. Weight loss programs – for overweight and obese patients.
  4. A customized night guard – is an oral appliance that helps keep your jaw open, preventing the collapse of the throat muscles. The machine incredibly boosts your breathing at night.
  5. Surgery – some cases of sleep apnea necessitate surgery to alleviate the underlying symptoms of the sleeping disorder. Some surgeries that can benefit sleep apnea are Somnoplasty, Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), Tonsillectomy, or Nasal surgery. Medical experts recommend different treatments based on the diagnosis regarding the underlying cause of your sleep apnea.

Summary

Like all aspects of your health, you must prioritize good quality sleep. If you feel the need to visit a walk in dentist near me for a checkup, do not hesitate. It might mean the difference between a great quality of life and underlying health complications like heart disease.

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