Sleep apnea can have wide-ranging effects on your overall health. In addition to never feeling fully rested, people with sleep apnea may suffer from headaches, insomnia, and attention problems. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, or if your partner has noticed abnormal breathing patterns or loud snoring when you sleep, talk to your dentist to find out how you can treat this serious condition. Sleep apnea can be life-threatening, so keep reading to learn why you should seek treatment.
High Blood Pressure
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition and should not be taken lightly. One of the risks of sleep apnea is developing hypertension, or high blood pressure. When apneas (pauses in breathing) occur, the level of oxygen in your blood can drop suddenly, raising your blood pressure and putting stress on your cardiovascular system. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the risk factors for developing high blood pressure.
Heart Problems and Stroke
Your risk of stroke is increased when you have obstructive sleep apnea. While high blood pressure is also a risk factor for stroke, you can have obstructive sleep apnea and normal blood pressure and still be at risk for a stroke. Individuals with heart disease are at risk for heart attacks and sudden death due to periods of low blood oxygen. Obstructive sleep apnea has also been associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure.
Individuals with sleep apnea may experience multiple interruptions in their normal breathing patterns while they sleep. These interruptions take the person out of deep sleep and into a light sleep, which can lead to fatigue, drowsiness, and irritability during the day. Intense feelings of fatigue are particularly dangerous when driving a car, operating machinery, and even performing everyday tasks such as cooking. Severe fatigue greatly increases the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel, a dangerous situation for the driver and other motorists on the road.
At The Smile Design Center of Baltimore, we offer non-surgical and surgical treatment options for people who suffer from sleep apnea. Call us at (443) 275-9821 to find out how we can help you get better sleep and improve your overall health. Don’t risk letting your sleep apnea go untreated.