Feeling groggy all day. Waking up throughout the night. An upset, grumpy partner who’s lost sleep because of your snoring.
Living with sleep apnea feels like a nightmare.
Unfortunately, if you don’t treat your case of sleep apnea soon, the nightmare will only get worse. Decreased performance, sluggish responses, and dangerous health conditions are the norm for people who don’t treat their sleep apnea. Who wants to live like that?
Today, Dr. Huff and the Kerrville team are here to discuss some of the dangers associated with untreated sleep apnea and why you shouldn’t snooze on getting treatment.
High Blood Pressure
If you already have high blood pressure—and a lot of sleep apnea patients do—sleep apnea can make it worse. Waking up throughout the night puts additional stress on your body, which causes your blood pressure to increase. Plus, struggling to breathe throughout the night causes the levels of oxygen in your blood to drop, which adds to the problem.
People who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to have heart attacks. Sleep apnea disrupts the way your body takes in oxygen, making it more difficult for the brain to regulate blood flow to the arteries. This can lead to heart attacks, palpitations, and other cardiovascular conditions.
One of the telltale markers of sleep apnea is loud, deep snoring. Sleep apnea and snoring are related to the risk of carotid atherosclerosis—the narrowing of the arteries in the neck due to a buildup of plaque in the blood.
This causes sufferers to snore loudly, have trouble breathing, and run a heightened risk of having a stroke.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is very common in people who suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea sufferers may have GERD because of the way their throats close when air moves out during sleep, causing irregular pressure changes and bringing the contents of the stomach back into the throat.
GERD and sleep apnea are also common in overweight patients, creating a vicious cycle of symptoms and conditions worsening each other.
In 2013 alone, over 100,000 car accidents were caused by drowsy driving. Getting just an hour or two less than a full seven hours of sleep nearly doubles the risk of being in a car accident. And sufferers of sleep apnea often lose out on several hours each night for a prolonged period of time, which is really a recipe for disaster.
Treat Sleep Apnea in Kerrville, TX
As you can see, sleep apnea is not something that you should leave untreated. As soon as you suspect that you have the condition, you should contact a specialist like Dr. Huff to discuss treatment options.
At our Kerrville office, we provide oral appliance therapy (OAT) to our patients suffering from sleep apnea. An oral appliance fits in your mouth a lot like a sports mouthguard and works to hold your jaw forward. This keeps your airways open and prevents the throat from collapsing as is characteristic of sleep apnea.
After just one night, patients often find significant improvement in the quality of their sleep, which helps prevent the long-term health consequences of sleep apnea.
Don’t wait any longer to treat your case of sleep apnea. Contact Dr. Matthew Huff at Precision Dentistry & Implants to schedule sleep apnea consultation today.