June 29, 2022
Did you know obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is more than just snoring? It’s a symptom of a serious breathing disorder. OSA is a condition that causes frequent disturbances in breathing from an obstruction in the upper airway. The soft tissues in the back of the mouth or throat collapse when sleeping. The narrowed air passage causes loud vibrations when air passes over the tissues, resulting in loud, chronic snoring. Unfortunately, that’s not the only concern. Your body is deprived of oxygen every time you stop breathing. You can develop several life-threatening issues without any treatment. Here are 5 dangers of OSA you can avoid with sleep apnea therapy.
1. High Blood Pressure
Every breathing interruption causes a stress response in your body, which can affect your hormone systems, triggering your blood pressure to rise. Not to mention, low oxygen levels in your blood will also raise your blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
2. Cardiovascular Disease
OSA is linked to atrial fibrillation, which is a condition that causes a fluttering or fast heartbeat. When your body is depleted of oxygen, it makes it difficult for your brain to control blood flow throughout the body.
3. Type 2 Diabetes
Research has found that at least 80% of patients with type 2 diabetes have sleep apnea. OSA can worsen diabetes symptoms because lack of sleep affects how well your body uses insulin.
4. Memory Loss
Each pause in breathing causes your brain to jolt you awake; however, you may not be aware of the brief awakenings. Nonetheless, each interruption disturbs your sleep cycle, which can cause mild cognitive impairment. Although the symptoms aren’t as severe as dementia, it can be difficult to retain new information.
5. Auto Accidents
Without any treatment, sleep deprivation is a common complication of OSA. Inadequate sleep can make it challenging to function throughout the day and decrease cognitive abilities. According to a recent study, patients with untreated sleep apnea are 2.5 times more likely to be in an auto accident. However, the risk can decrease by 70% with the right treatment.
Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea
You don’t have to lose sleep at night or put yourself at risk with sleep apnea therapy. You have multiple options to breathe better, including:
- CPAP: A steady stream of air pressure is delivered through a mask worn over the mouth or nose to prevent interruptions in breathing.
- Oral Appliance: A custom-fit device repositions the jaw or tongue to prevent the airway from collapsing.
Don’t spend another night placing your health and quality of life at risk. Contact your sleep specialist today.
About Dr. Bernard L. Greenbaum
Dr. Greenbaum earned his dental degree from the Georgetown University School of Dentistry and has completed advanced education in many specialties, including sleep apnea and snoring treatment. As a diplomat of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, he has the qualifications you can trust. Contact our office today to request your consultation for sleep apnea therapy.
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