Sleep apnea is an often overlooked and untreated sleep disorder that can have serious health risks, including a connection to heart disease.
If you’re concerned about the potentially life-threatening implications of sleep apnea, look no further – this blog post is here to provide insight into how the disorder works and what can be done to combat its symptoms.
We will discuss everything from what exactly sleep apnea entails, potential warning signs that could signify a greater problem, treatments available for those affected by it, how it relates to cardiovascular problems and finally explore treatments available in alleviating these conditions.
It’s essential not to overlook or misdiagnose any sign of sleep apnea; hence why we are providing information on this topic today.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during their sleep. It’s caused by an obstruction in the airway, often due to extra weight or tissue around the throat or jaw.
This obstruction can also be caused by an enlarged tongue or tonsils, structural issues with the jaw bone or anatomical issues inside the nose and mouth like a deviated septum.
Sleep apnea affects up to 22 million Americans of all ages but tends to be more prevalent among those who are overweight and middle-aged men.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
If you have sleep apnea, you may experience restless nights where it feels like you’re waking up multiple times throughout the night as your body struggles to breathe properly. Additional symptoms include daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, depression and/or anxiety.
If left untreated it can also lead to other health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and even death.
Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease: An Inextricable Relationship?
Studies have shown that people with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases like arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), congestive heart failure (CHF) or stroke due to decreased oxygen levels during episodes of interrupted breathing at night.
Additionally, people with sleep apnea often show signs of inflammation that can be damaging for overall health – especially for those already at risk of coronary artery disease (CAD).
Treatments That Can Help Alleviate Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Depending on how severe your condition is there are several treatment options available for managing the symptoms of sleep apnea including:
- lifestyle changes such as weight loss through dieting and exercise;
- positional therapy which involves adjusting sleeping posture;
- dental devices like mandibular advancement splints which hold the lower jaw forward while sleeping;
- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine which helps keep airways open using light air pressure;
- surgical procedures such as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP);
- though these tend to be reserved for cases where lifestyle changes don’t work out very well;
- implants that stimulate nerve signals from ear lobes so as open up throat muscles while sleeping.
It’s important not take any chances when signs point towards having sleep apnea as it could potentially put someone’s health at risk down the line if left untreated.
Therefore it’s essential that people get screened regularly by our professional specialists at Gateway Family Dentistry, who can identify potential danger signals associated with this condition early on – allowing them time & resources needed to rectify any issues should they arise.
With an improved comprehension of the relationship between sleep apnea and cardiac issues, coupled with recent technological advances in medical research, we have a greater chance of success than ever before when treating our patients. Call us now to book an appointment – 661-829-7905