The effects of sleep apnea can jeopardize your health, if left untreated. In fact, it’s estimated that 80 percent of Americans are undiagnosed but suffer from sleep apnea. Over time, sleep apnea can cause serious health issues, including:
Studies have shown that poor sleep quality increases the risk of high blood pressure. Frequent nighttime awakening and low blood-oxygen levels put those with obstructive sleep apnea at high risk for resistant hypertension, which does not respond to most medicines.
Hypertensive heart disease is the number one cause of death associated with high blood pressure. It thickens the heart muscle, and if untreated, it may cause heart failure. Statistics show that obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of heart failure by 140% and coronary heart disease by 30%.
Obesity can be both a cause and an effect of sleep apnea. As many as two thirds of people with sleep apnea are overweight. The extra fatty deposits in the neck can block the airway at night. The lack of quality sleep can also increase weight gain by slowing metabolism and increasing the hormones that make you crave carbohydrates and sweets.
Other Health Issues
Sleep apnea deprives your body of sleep and oxygen, putting your health at risk. Hypertension is the single most important risk factor for stroke. It can also lead to diseases such as diabetes and kidney disease. Asthma and acid reflux can also arise from untreated sleep apnea.
Please contact us if you have any questions about sleep apnea or oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea. Once your sleep apnea is treated, you’ll finally get a good night’s sleep.