What Are the Dangers & Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea?

What Are the Dangers & Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea?

Feb 01, 2023

Sleep apnea is a condition whereby the patient experiences restricted breathing when asleep. It disrupts their sleep, causing them to snore, choke or wake up frequently. Untreated sleep apnea also leads to health and lifestyle issues that affect your quality of life. Read on to learn why you should seek sleep apnea treatment near you.

Dangers and Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea

  1. High blood pressure.

Obstructive sleep apnea makes you wake up frequently at night. The resulting stress on your body causes your blood pressure levels to rise. Also, you will not inhale adequate oxygen when you snore or choke at night. Consequently, the oxygen level in your blood decreases, increasing your blood pressure.

Getting treatment for obstructive sleep apnea at a dentist’s office near you can improve high blood pressure. The dentist will provide treatments to help you breathe well when you sleep. Therefore, the oxygen levels in your blood will normalize.

  1. Heart problems

High blood pressure caused by obstructive sleep apnea can lead to cardiovascular issues. The low oxygen levels cause your blood vessels to strain when pumping blood. This may result in irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, or heart failure. OSA treatment reduces the strain on your heart and prevents or reduces the risk of heart problems.

  1. Diabetes

When you do not get adequate rest, your body does not use insulin properly. As a result, you may get type 2 diabetes. The risk of getting diabetes increases if you are overweight or obese. Treatment allows you to rest, helping the body to utilize insulin properly.

  1. Stroke

When suffering from OSA, your blood does not receive enough blood and oxygen. As a result, it increases your risk of an ischemic stroke. Obstructive sleep apnea treatment helps your brain to receive enough oxygenated blood. This reduces your risk of strokes during REM sleep.

  1. Surgery and medications complications

Obstructive sleep apnea causes airway obstructions when you are lying down. This poses several risks during surgical procedures since you cannot breathe properly. OSA also causes complications when using certain medications. For example, dentists cannot administer general anesthesia during dental work. Treating OSA helps avoid these complications.

  1. Daytime fatigue or sleepiness

When you wake up several times during the night due to OSA, you do not get enough sleep. Therefore, you will be drowsy, sleepy, or fatigued during the day. This makes it hard to concentrate. As a result, it affects your performance or lead to accidents. In addition, you may feel depressed, restless, moody, or quick-tempered. OSA treatment reduces these effects.

  1. Memory slips and brain fog

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to several issues with your brain. Some people have memory loss or thinking problems. Others become forgetful, slow to react, or distracted. The dentist in Cupertino can reduce or prevent these issues through OSA treatment.

  1. Increased weight gain

People with OSA often gain extra weight and have difficulty slimming down. This is because obstructive sleep apnea results in the release of hormones that make you crave sweets and carbs.

In addition, fatigue caused by OSA makes it hard for your body to convert food into energy. Therefore, you gain weight very fast. Treatment for OSA helps you rest and gives you the energy to exercise. It also prevents the condition from worsening.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment

When your doctor diagnoses OSA, they will provide treatment based on the severity of the condition. They may recommend lifestyle changes for milder cases and surgery for serious ones. Some changes may include losing weight, avoiding alcohol before bed, and exercising regularly. You may also use nasal decongestants and change your sleeping posture.

For moderate conditions, they will use special devices to open blocked airways and promote airflow when asleep. They may provide continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP devices. The dentist will use customized mouth appliances if the patient cannot use the CPAP device. These may help keep your throat open or hold your tongue in a proper position.

Surgery is usually recommended for severe cases. The dentist may perform surgery to help you breathe properly when asleep. At Cupertino Family Dental, we provide all these and more treatment options for OSA. Schedule a consultation to determine suitable treatment for you.

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