Uncovering the Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep and can lead to a number of health problems if left untreated. At Desert Hills Dental Care, our Farmington, NM dentist Dr. Charles Schumacher offers a variety of sleep apnea treatments to improve the quality of your sleep and prevent further medical issues. Our sleep dentist is proud to serve New Mexico patients in Bloomfield, Aztec, Upper Fruitland, and the surrounding areas.
The Effects of Sleep Apnea
Untreated sleep apnea can have serious and far-reaching effects on your health and well-being. Some of the most common effects of untreated sleep apnea include:
Sleep apnea can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. This is because repeated pauses in breathing during sleep can lead to low oxygen levels, which can strain the heart and blood vessels.
Mental Health Problems
People with untreated sleep apnea often experience feelings of irritability, anxiety, and depression due to the lack of restful sleep. Additionally, sleep apnea has been linked to decreased cognitive function and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Lack of sleep can make daily functions more difficult than they have to be.
Accidents and Injuries
Your brain needs sleep at night to be able to focus during the day. Sleep Apnea can also cause people to experience accidents and injuries due to drowsy driving, falls, and other sleep-related incidents. The lack of quality sleep can also affect reaction times and decision-making abilities, putting individuals at greater risk for accidents.
Your body is more likely to gain weight as it produces more insulin to combat the decreased oxygen levels. Additionally, the lack of quality sleep can affect metabolism and increase cravings for high-calorie foods. If you’re already struggling with sleep apnea, obesity can cause more harm to your body.
Sleep apnea has been linked to the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and liver disease. The relationship between chronic diseases and sleep apnea is complex and multidirectional, with each condition having the potential to worsen the other.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Sleep apnea is diagnosed through a sleep study, which can be performed in a sleep lab or in the comfort of your own home. During the study, your breathing and other sleep-related activities will be monitored. Based on your results, your sleep dentist will be able to determine the best plan of action.
What should I do if I think I have sleep apnea?
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, it is important to speak with your doctor and undergo a sleep study to get a proper diagnosis. Early treatment is crucial to minimize the potential health risks associated with untreated sleep apnea. The longer you wait, the greater the risk for additional medical issues.
What is the treatment for sleep apnea?
The treatment for sleep apnea varies depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s specific needs. Common treatments include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), oral appliance therapy, lifestyle changes (such as weight loss and avoiding alcohol), and surgery in some cases. Your sleep dentist will recommend the proper sleep apnea treatment for your specific needs.
Protect Yourself from the Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea
If you or someone you know is struggling with sleep apnea, it’s important to take action right away. The dangers of untreated sleep apnea are serious and can lead to long-term health problems. Don’t wait, take control of your health today by seeking a proper diagnosis and treatment plan from Dr. Schumacher. Don’t let sleep apnea go untreated, contact our Farmington office at (505) 427-2936 or fill out our online contact form to protect yourself from the harmful effects of this sleep disorder.