There is increasing evidence that even mild untreated obstructive sleep apnea can trigger serious problems in your overall health. Studies have shown that obstructive sleep apnea can cause cardiac stress by increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Sleep apnea causes periods of a minute or more of decreased blood oxygen level, which puts extra pressure on the part of the central nervous system that is responsible for cardiac performance. All the effects that obstructive sleep apnea can have on your body can lead to the development of several different health concerns.
One of the most severe health risks associated with obstructive sleep apnea is heart disease. People with this sleeping disorder are much more likely to have a fatal heart attack in the middle of the night. Abrupt awakenings throughout the night can lead to stress and low oxygen levels that may result in a heart attack. These can also lead to stroke or irregular heartbeat. Recovering from a stoke may also be slower due to obstructive sleep apnea. Erratic oxygen flow makes it more difficult for brain to control the flow of blood throughout your body in general.
High blood pressure is another danger for individuals who let their sleep apnea progress untreated. Frequently disturbed sleep leads to an overactive hormone system, which increases blood pressure at night. Low blood oxygen levels in the moments when the primary airway is cutoff may also contribute to heightened blood pressure. About 50 percent of people with obstructive sleep apnea also suffer from hypertension. Fortunately, effective obstructive sleep apnea treatment has proven not only to alleviate, but often cure, hypertension.
Not only does weight gain lead to the development of obstructive sleep apnea, but sleep apnea itself can also contribute to weight gain. Obstructive sleep apnea can often be cured by weight loss; however, the way sleep apnea contributes to weight gain can make this difficult to lose weight. Being overweight leads to the growth of fatty deposits located at the back of the neck, which restrict airflow and can cause sleep apnea. On the other hand, obstructive sleep apnea manipulates the endocrine system, causing excessive release of ghrelin. This hormone increases cravings for sweets and carbohydrates. The lack of sleep from obstructive sleep apnea can also lead to lowered metabolism, which will contribute similarly to weight gain.
Studies have shown 80 percent of diabetics have obstructive sleep apnea. The weight gain associated with obstructive sleep apnea may be the culprit. However, sleep apnea also causes sleep deprivation, which can lead to an insulin resistance in the body. This is often a precursor to the contraction of type 2 diabetes. Studies have also linked obstructive sleep apnea to adult asthma and acid reflux.
Obstructive sleep apnea significantly increases your risk of premature death, so don’t let your obstructive sleep apnea go untreated. Contact Lynn Dental Care today and let us introduce cutting edge oral appliance therapy to you!