What Happens If Sleep Apnea Is Left Untreated?

What Happens If Sleep Apnea Is Left Untreated?

May 01, 2022

What Is Sleep Apnea?

It is a sleeping disorder featuring a problematic respiratory system that results in moments of not breathing when you sleep. Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing for a few seconds or minutes several times during the night. The longer you stop breathing each time, the more fatal the condition becomes, potentially causing life-threatening outcomes to your health.

Sleep apnea typically occurs due to an airways obstruction when you sleep. It usually is because of excessive throat muscle relaxation, closing up the airway. Therefore, you would need to keep your mouth open to improve your breathing at night. Some people are more likely to get sleep apnea than others. Some common risk factors for the disease are:

  1. Older people
  2. Men
  3. Obese or overweight people

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Unfortunately, sleep apnea is a fairly common condition, even though few people get diagnosed with it. Some symptoms that may indicate you have sleep apnea are:

  1. Loud snoring at night – enough to wake your partner.
  2. Dry mouth in the morning – usually because of keeping your mouth open to breathe well at night.
  3. Disrupted sleep – you cannot sleep throughout the night without waking up repeatedly in the middle of your sleep.
  4. Excessive daytime sleepiness – due to diminished quality of sleep at night.
  5. Fatigue when you wake up
  6. Morning headaches
  7. Frequently gasping for air during the night

When Do You Need Sleep Apnea Treatment?

When you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, schedule an appointment with a sleep doctor to consider sleep apnea treatment in El Segundo. Even though you are unsure of your condition, allow a medical expert at Dr. Smile to make an accurate diagnosis and help influence the quality of your life. Besides, if you notice any symptoms worsening, do not hesitate to seek urgent medical care.

The Impact of Sleep Apnea On Your General Body Health

Many patients fail to understand the criticality of sleep apnea disorder, especially when left untreated. Although some patients can get away with the condition for a long time, without treatment, the symptoms worsen.

The impact of sleep apnea on your general health is immense, including the following:

  1. Migraine headaches – if your sleep apnea remains untreated, the morning headaches can become a continuous health problem in your life.
  2. Daytime fatigue – your productivity and performance will deteriorate immensely if you hardly get any sleep at night. If fatigue buildups, your body may crush so that you become overwhelmed and unproductive in daily life routines.
  3. Depression and anxiety – the lack of sleep, diminished productivity, and fatigue will do more than make you irritable. The longer you go without treatment, the more likely you will end up with depression and anxiety.
  4. High blood pressure and heart conditions – the sudden drop of oxygen levels in your bloodstream will affect the pressure of blood traveling to and from your heart. Some patients have heart attacks or arrhythmias due to untreated sleep apnea.
  5. Stroke – insufficient oxygen supply in your brain and heart can lead to a stroke.
  6. Type 2 diabetes – advanced sleep apnea significantly heightens insulin resistance in your body, which results in diabetes.

Ways for Treating Sleep Apnea

Sleep doctors and dentists work closely to treat sleep apnea. Some treatment options involve lifestyle changes, while others may involve more drastic measures. Some of the treatments you can consider for sleep apnea are:

  1. Physical exercise – to help you lose excess weight.
  2. Oral mouthpiece – a dentist can customize a sleep apnea dental appliance called a nightguard. The dental appliance will help keep your jaw open when you sleep, allowing you to breathe better at night.
  3. CPAP therapy – involves using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to allow a steady stream of air in your airway.
  4. Changing your sleeping position – sometimes, the posture you embrace when you sleep limits breathability. Instead of sleeping on your back, try sleeping on your side.
  5. Surgery – your oral surgeon, may result in surgery to remove soft tissues in your throat that may contribute to blocked airways. Some surgeries include palatoplasty or tonsillectomy.
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