Can Sleep Apnea Cause Long-Term Health Problems?
Most people may not worry too much about the fact that they (or their partner!) snore incessantly, or that they don’t feel well-rested after a long night of sleep. But in some cases, these symptoms can be signs of a more serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Here’s what you should know about sleep apnea and the short- and long-term health impacts of sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person continually stops breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common types of sleep apnea, and occurs when the muscles of the throat relax. The other two common kinds of sleep apnea are central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea syndrome.
Short- and Long-Term Impacts of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can have both short- and long-term health effects. Two of the most likely immediate impacts of sleep apnea are not feeling well-rested after sleep, which can lead to feelings of fatigue, headache, poor performance, and crankiness, and also negative impacts on a partner who shares the same sleeping area. If a person with sleep apnea is snoring, their partner may lose sleep, too, and may even choose to sleep in a different part of the house (or different house) in some cases, leading to relationship compilations.
There are also many long-term impacts of sleep apnea that are concerning. Missing out on sleep and consistently suffering from interrupted sleep may eventually lead to complications such as:
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Oral health problems
- Metabolic syndrome
What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk of Sleep Apnea
For most people, developing sleep apnea is not inevitable. While it’s true that there are some genetic or inherited factors that increase one’s risk of sleep apnea, avoiding alcohol and smoking, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly can all help to reduce one’s risk of suffering from sleep apnea.
Taking preventative measures is important for long-term health, as many of the complications of sleep apnea can have serious impacts on health, and even be fatal in extreme cases.
Learn More from Distinctive Dental Solutions Today
To learn more about some of the health impacts of sleep apnea, especially the oral health impacts, as well as things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing sleep apnea or treatment options, please call Distinctive Dental Solutions directly today. You can also contact us online at your convenience.