The Effects of Sleep Apnea and Why You Should Visit the Doctor

Recently, there has been an increase in cases of sleep apnea. Experts are trying to solve this condition by coming up with various treatment methods such as dental sleep medicine. Choosing the right specialist for sleep apnea is essential. Dr. Robert Garelick at Chase Dental Sleepcare is a board-certified dental sleep specialist who provides effective treatment methods for this condition.

What causes sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is when the breathing process is blocked and released in episodes while you are sleeping. Sleep apnea leads to snoring and/or gasping.

The following are the known causes of sleep apnea:

  1. Laxity of tissues in the throat, tongue, and muscles in the mouth
  2. Congestion in the nasal cavity
  3. Build up of fats around the airway
  4. Underlying conditions such as neurological problems

What are the risks associated with sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can lead to serious complications if untreated. If your breathing process becomes repeatedly interrupted as you sleep, you can become awake and feel drowsy during the day. If you fail to seek medical help, this condition may be risky in the following ways:

  • Due to lack of enough sleep and feeling sleepy and tired during the day, it may cause accidents while operating machinery.
  • Sleep apnea may worsen asthma conditions; it leads to shortness of breath when your body lacks enough oxygen due to breathing interference.
  • Sleep apnea may lead to heart problems; because obesity is prevalent among sleep apnea patients, obesity may lead to the acquisition of conditions such as diabetes, strokes, and heart problems. When the body is deprived of enough oxygen, it causes blood pressure and further complications.
  • Sleep apnea interferes with your digestive system by reducing the liver’s normal functions, causing scarring and too much liver enzymes.
  • It can lead to neurological disorders. This is due to the interference of signals to the brain while you sleep.
  • Sleep apnea can lead to erectile dysfunction among men.

When should I seek medical help for sleep apnea?

You should see the doctor for help when you have symptoms that indicate sleep apnea. The symptoms may include:

  •         Loud snores while sleeping
  •         Insomnia
  •         Headache in the morning
  •         Hypersomnia
  •         Dry mouth when you wake up
  •         Lack of concentration
  •         Erectile dysfunction
  •         Anger

Sleep apnea can hinder your daily activities, and it may be an indication of other health issues.  The good news is that this condition is treatable. Sleep apnea may predispose you to various health risks such as heart attack, stroke, and other problems. However, the connection between such conditions and sleep apnea has not yet been established. You should seek medical assistance if you have the symptoms. If you feel tired, lack sleep, or any other issues, you should explain this to your doctor. In case the doctor diagnoses a health issue, you may get treatment and prevent further complications.

It is time to start having a good night’s rest. Consult your dentist to learn more about the available treatment options for sleep apnea.

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