What Are the Potential Health Consequences of Sleep Apnea?
While you may know whether you feel well-rested or not, most people don’t pay too much attention to their sleep beyond that. At Distinctive Dental Solutions, we know that how you sleep can answer questions about your overall health. One of the most common sleep disorders is sleep apnea—a condition that can have short- and long-term effects other than sleep loss on the sufferer. Here’s what you should know about sleep apnea and the potential health consequences of sleep apnea—
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is characterized as a disorder where the sleeper who suffers from sleep apnea starts and stops breathing repeatedly throughout the night. There are three main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Central sleep apnea
- Complex sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea, and happens when breathing stops as a result of an obstruction of air, such as the muscles of the throat relaxing improperly. Central sleep apnea happens when the signals sent by the brain to the muscles that control breathing aren’t properly fired. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
A person is more likely to develop sleep apnea if they are of old age, male, overweight or obese, have a large neck circumference, are a smoker, use alcohol or sedatives, or have certain other health conditions that can increase the risk for sleep apnea. Sometimes, sleep apnea can be treated with diet and lifestyle changes; other times, more intentional intervention and treatment is required.
Sleep Apnea & Your Health
Sleep apnea can lead to both short- and long-term health complications. Some of the common complications of sleep apnea include:
- Dry throat/coughing/gasping for air at night
- High blood pressure
- Type II diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Liver problems
- Sleep-deprived partners
- Other heart problems
Get Help Today
If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, it’s important that you seek care from your doctor as soon as possible. All of the symptoms of sleep apnea can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, and some of them can be especially damaging to your health over time. At Distinctive Dental Solutions, we offer sleep apnea treatment options in the form of oral appliances. To learn more about oral appliances and how we can help, call our office directly today or send us a message online. We are accepting new patients.