Is Your Sleep Apnea Untreated? Know your dangers |

If you have sleep apnea you may be aware of the effects it can have on your daily life, but did you know that it can have a huge impact on your overall health? Without consistent treatment for sleep apnea, those affected increase their risk of serious health consequences. Even so, many people with sleep apnea find the leading treatment, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) , cumbersome and uncomfortable.

The good news is that there is one treatment out there that is pleasant and can help reduce your risk of developing it:

High blood pressure: One of the greatest health consequences of untreated sleep apnea is high blood pressure. If you have already had high blood pressure, sleep apnea can make it worse. The reason why blood pressure rises with untreated sleep apnea is because the body becomes stressed because it loses oxygen while sleeping.

When you wake up to breathe again, it causes the body to go into high gear and, as a result, blood pressure to rise. With consistent use of sleep apnea treatment, blood pressure begins to drop.

Heart disease: People with untreated obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to have heart attacks than those who don’t. This is due to low oxygen levels, which can make it difficult for the brain to determine how blood is flowing through the arteries and to the brain. The risk of stroke also increases with untreated sleep apnea.

Type 2 diabetes: At least 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes also have sleep apnea. So what’s the connection? Obesity rates are high for both conditions, and sleep apnea prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep. Without a good night’s sleep, it can affect how your body uses insulin properly. Without proper use, type 2 diabetes is inevitable.

Weight gain: Poor sleep from sleep apnea can also affect your hunger hormones, which can lead to weight gain. Untreated sleep apnea is linked to high levels of ghrelin, which makes you crave carbohydrates and sweets, and low levels of leptin, which means you never feel full. The combination of the two can result in you consuming more unhealthy foods than you normally would.

Untreated sleep apnea not only causes weight gain, but weight gain can also cause sleep apnea.

Without treatment, weight loss can be difficult to manage because hunger hormones are out of balance.

Metabolic syndrome: Metabolic syndrome is a group of health conditions that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. If you have at least three of the following symptoms, you have metabolic syndrome.

  • High blood sugar
  • High triglycerides
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • Too much fat around your waist
  • High blood pressure

Memory loss: Untreated sleep apnea affects not only your physical health, but also your mental health. Without an adequate night’s sleep, your brain won’t get the restful benefits it needs to function properly. As a result, you may experience memory loss and difficulty concentrating. Eventually, memory loss can go so far as to be viewed as a mild cognitive impairment that can later develop into dementia.

Depression: Not getting enough sleep can also affect your mood and make you more likely to experience depression. Although treatment for sleep apnea can reduce your symptoms of depression, it may not get treated. We recommend that you have sleep apnea treatment and speak to a doctor about your symptoms of depression.

Fall asleep: If you are not getting enough sleep at night, it is common to doze off throughout the day. Untreated sleep apnea won’t let you fall into a deep sleep because you stop breathing and wake up to breathe again. Because this process repeats itself hundreds of times a night, you won’t be getting the proper restful sleep that you need to function properly. One consequence is asleep while driving. This can lead to car accidents, in which you injure yourself and others.

Premature death: The final health consequence of untreated sleep apnea is premature death. Because of the high number of serious health consequences from untreated sleep apnea, people with sleep apnea are at greater risk of premature death. Middle-aged men are at greatest risk.

Protect your health with oral treatment

If you want to protect your health while increasing the quality of your life, you need sleep apnea treatment. Kuhn Dental Associates can help you find a comfortable, custom-made oral splint to your sleep apnea. Contact the office today for consultation at (910) 218-9661.

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