A bad mattress isn’t the only thing to keep people awake at night. Over 22 million Americans suffer from a disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. It’s a condition that causes a patient to stop breathing frequently throughout the night from an obstruction in the upper airway. Although it’s often thought to only cause chronic snoring, there are several dangerous issues associated with untreated sleep apnea in La Mesa. Here are the top 7 risks that can occur without the right treatment.
1. High Blood Pressure
The pauses in breathing cause oxygen levels in your blood to drop, which strains your heart. It can also make your hormone levels increase from the stress. Combining both factors significantly increases the likeliness for high blood pressure, which heightens the risk of heart attack and stroke. Treating sleep apnea can often return blood pressure to normal levels without needing medications.
2. Heart Disease
People with obstructive sleep apnea are known to be more prone to heart disease. Besides heart attack and stroke, there’s also an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular heartbeat caused by the brain’s inability to control blood flow through the arteries from low oxygen levels.
3. Type 2 Diabetes
Research shows as much as 80% of patients with sleep apnea have type 2 diabetes. Although a direct cause hasn’t been discovered, studies prove obesity raises the occurrence for both type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea because lack of sleep hinders your body’s ability to use insulin correctly.
4. Weight Gain
Obesity is directly linked to sleep apnea, often because it places added pressure on the airways in the neck. Unfortunately, it also causes obesity because it can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
5. Adult Asthma
Although there isn’t direct proof, clinic evidence has found people who have sleep apnea tend to experience more asthma attacks.
6. Acid Reflux
Acid reflux and sleep apnea often go hand-in-hand. Research shows treating sleep apnea can also reduce the severity of acid reflux. Controlling the reflux can also help you get a better night’s rest.
7. Car Accidents
The pauses in breathing also interrupt your sleep quality, which increases your risk of sleep deprivation. This heightens your risk of car accidents by as much as 5 times.
Sleep Soundly Tonight
You can sleep better and breathe easier with the right treatment. As an alternative to a CPAP, many patients prefer an oral appliance. The custom-fit device repositions the mandibular forward to keep your airway open. You’ll get the rest you need while also stopping the complications of untreated sleep apnea.
About Dr. Peter F. Johnson
Dr. Peter F. Johnson is a board-certified prosthodontist. Besides earning his dental degree, he’s continued his training by 2 years to achieve his Prosthodontic Certification. He also regularly continues his education to remain well-versed in advanced conditions, like sleep apnea. He offers the personalized solutions you need to breathe easier. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.