If you have received complaints about snoring, or have heard concerns that you seem to wake up gasping for air, you may suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs as a result of obstructed breathing during sleep, or as a disorder in which the proper brain signals are not sent to continue your breathing. This disorder has serious side effects, and was recently attributed as a major factor in the passing of Carrie Fisher.
At Muntean Dentistry we want our patients to understand the side effects of this disorder, as well as the consequences presented by untreated sleep apnea.
Mental Side Effects
Anybody who has lost sleep can tell you that lack of it has significant sway over your mental state. Both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA) have been linked to depression. The chance of—and severity of—depressive symptoms increases with the impact of sleep apnea. These symptoms have been found to decrease with the proper use of appliances and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks.
The continuous loss of sleep can also affect patients by slowing reaction time and focus, making it hard to operate motor vehicles and continue everyday activities.
Systemic Side Effects
The primary danger of sleep apnea is the lack of proper blood oxygenation that comes as a result of an obstructed airway or the lack of communication between the brain and the thoracic diaphragm. In an effort to compensate for the proper amount of oxygen in your blood, your heart begins to pump harder, increasing blood pressure.
Sustained high blood pressure within the body is a significant contributor to multiple other risk factors of the brain, eyes, and heart. Patients with sleep apnea are more likely to develop heart disease and suffer from strokes as a result of hypertension. Additionally, the damaged blood vessels can affect the health of your kidneys and eyesight.
Treat Your Sleep Apnea Today
At our Thousand Oaks dental practice, we are eager to help patients receive a full and restful sleep. We will work with your primary care physician to arrange for a sleep study, determine whether you suffer from sleep apnea, and see if you qualify for a sleep apnea oral device. Call or schedule an appointment with Muntean Dentistry today.