Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to some serious health concerns.
If you are struggling with sleep apnea, you must seek professional help. The condition has been linked to several very serious health issues and can exacerbate other chronic conditions, such as hypertension. Read on to find out why it is so important to address sleep apnea, and what can happen if the condition goes untreated…
Why is sleep apnea dangerous?
Obstructive sleep apnea causes breathing difficulties during sleep, which causes a low level of oxygen in the body. When there is not enough oxygen in the body, a condition known as hypoxia can occur. Hypoxia can lead to heart and vascular-related issues, including high blood pressure, inflammation, and an increased heart rate and higher blood volume, all of which may increase one’s risk of cardiovascular issues, including heart attack. Untreated sleep apnea can also increase one’s risk of stroke, especially in individuals with a particularly low oxygen level during sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea may also worsen other serious health problems, including asthma and diabetes.
How do you know if you have sleep apnea?
In many cases, sleep apnea goes undiagnosed, but some of the most common symptoms include snoring; pauses in breathing during sleep; dry mouth; headaches (especially in the mornings); daytime sleepiness; and mood issues like irritability and even depression.
If you or your partner has noticed any of these symptoms, you must come in for a diagnosis. A customized treatment plan can then be formulated for you, depending on your particular symptoms and health concerns. Treatment may involve a combination of techniques, including sleep position training, lifestyle changes, oral appliance therapy, continuous positive air pressure (CPAP), and surgery. Your health practitioner will advise you on the approach that is most appropriate for you.
If you have a family history of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease or stroke, it is advisable to come in for a sleep apnea diagnosis even if you are not aware of any symptoms. Early treatment of sleep apnea can go a long way in resolving several health issues and can improve one’s overall physical health considerably.
Can lifestyle changes help?
Besides seeking professional treatment, there are a few lifestyle changes that can help to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. Excess weight is one of the leading causes of the condition, so losing weight is often an effective step towards resolving the issue. It can also be helpful to avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, sedatives and tranquillizers as these all relax the muscles during sleep.
Smoking cessation is usually recommended as part of sleep apnea treatment. The use of a humidifier and nasal decongestants may also help. Speak to your doctor about the options available to you, and feel free to ask any questions that you might have.
How can we help?
If you are suffering from sleep apnea, or suspect that you have the condition but have not yet been diagnosed, we encourage you to come in and see us for a consultation. We offer a range of treatments designed to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea and improve the overall quality of life.
To find out more about our treatments for sleep apnea and snoring, please have a look here. We are also able to address children’s airway concerns — find out how we can help your little one here.
To arrange a consultation, please get in touch with us here or give us a call at (717) 563 6985. Our team understands how important it is to treat airway conditions for the sake of overall wellness and optimal body function.
Besides airway treatment, we offer a comprehensive range of services at Elite Dental, including dental implants, gum disease treatments, Invisalign and cosmetic and general dentistry. We use the latest technology and procedures to ensure that we provide quality care. We are located in Staten Island and look forward to welcoming you to our practice!