Sleep apnea is a serious condition that causes repeated pauses in breathing while you sleep. When left untreated, sleep apnea can have a severely negative impact on your life, marriage, productivity, and health. Fortunately, effective treatment for sleep apnea is provided by our dentist in Windsor, CT.
How Untreated Sleep Apnea Impacts Your Health and Safety
Untreated sleep apnea damages your health in numerous ways:
Your Cardiovascular System
Your cardiovascular system includes your heart, lungs, and about five liters of blood. It’s essential for transporting oxygenated blood throughout the body. By causing you to wake up several times during the night, sleep apnea disrupts the way your body takes in oxygen. This can increase your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and heart attack.
Almost 50 percent of patients who suffer from sleep apnea also have hypertension. According to Donna Arnett, chair and professor of epidemiology at the Alabama University School of Public Health says, “The evidence is very strong for the relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension and cardiovascular disease.”
Obesity is a major contributing factor for both heart disease and sleep apnea. In fact, excess weight and obesity are the most common causes of obstructive sleep apnea. Unfortunately, sleep apnea can also make it more difficult to lose weight. For one thing, it causes you body to release a chemical called ghrelin, which is a hormone that makes you crave foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. This leads to additional weight gain. The fatigue caused by sleep apnea also slows down your metabolism, making it more difficult to lose weight.
Your Respiratory System
Sleep apnea disrupts your respiratory several times every night, depriving your body of necessary oxygen. This can exacerbate two conditions that affect the respiratory system, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Researchers have long suspected a link between sleep apnea and diabetes, and this has now been confirmed by a recent study. In fact, people who suffer from sleep apnea have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Patients with sleep apnea are often groggy when they drive and this makes them five times more likely to fall asleep while driving. The annual estimated cost of automobile accidents caused by untreated sleep apnea is $26.2 billion.
Treat Your Sleep Apnea with Dr. Garceau
Contact our office to arrange a consultation with our Windsor dentist for sleep apnea screening and to explore your treatment solutions. Dr. Garceau and her team will work with your sleep medicine specialist to find the right treatment for your condition.