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7 Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

June 29, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephenhale @ 2:28 am

Man with untreated sleep apnea in Texas CityDo you struggle with daytime fatigue? Maybe you tend to wake up with a headache? You have signs of sleep apnea in Texas City. The disorder causes several interruptions in breathing frequently while sleeping. It’s caused by an obstruction in the airway from the soft tissues in the back of your mouth collapsing. While you might believe chronic snoring and loss of concentration are the only concerns of the condition, untreated sleep apnea can have potentially deadly complications. Here are 7 dangers of not treating obstructive sleep apnea.

1. High Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea can worsen high blood pressure because the pauses in breathing place stress on your body. Your hormone systems can go into overdrive, which can trigger a rise in blood pressure. When your body is depleted of oxygen during the cessations, it also increases your risk of other cardiovascular issues, including atrial fibrillation, heart attack, and stroke.

2. Type 2 Diabetes

Research shows 80% of people with diabetes have sleep apnea. With diabetes linked to obesity, the added weight and larger neck circumference can contribute to the sleep disorder. Your diabetic symptoms can also worsen if you aren’t getting enough rest because your body won’t be able to use insulin correctly.

3. Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is connected to a higher likeliness for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, each of which is also linked to sleep apnea. To be diagnosed with the syndrome, you must have at least 3 of the following issues:

  • High blood sugar
  • Low HDL cholesterol levels
  • High triglyceride levels
  • Excess fat around the waist
  • High blood pressure

4. Acid Reflux

Although there isn’t any direct evidence showing sleep apnea causes heartburn, the two conditions are often seen together. Many people find treating their acid reflux reduces their sleep apnea symptoms.

5. Daytime Sleepiness

Patients with sleep apnea often experience daytime fatigue despite sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours each night. Each pause in breathing will interrupt your sleep cycle as your brain tries to replenish oxygen levels.

6. Auto Accidents

Without adequate rest, sleep deprivation can occur. Your cognitive abilities will decline, which significantly increases your risk of auto accidents. Research shows people who have sleep apnea are 5 times as likely to be involved in a traffic accident.

7. Memory Loss

Memory slips, also known as mild cognitive impairment, can worsen with sleep-disordered breathing. Untreated sleep apnea doesn’t appear to cause dementia; however, it can affect the progression of memory loss.

Sleep Soundly Tonight

Your dentist offers the solutions you need to help you breathe better. An oral appliance will keep your airway open, so you can get the rest you need to feel your best while safeguarding your health.

About Dr. Stephen C. Hale

Dr. Hale earned his dental degree at the University of Texas Dental Branch and has completed advanced training at the Las Vegas Institute, Dawson Academy, and the Seattle Study Club. He has extensive knowledge and experience in complex treatments, like sleep apnea. If you’re ready for an oral appliance, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.

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