Don’t Ignore Your Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition. Failure to get the appropriate medical treatment for your sleep apnea puts you at risk for a number of hazardous health issues.
Sleep apnea causes you to completely stop breathing multiple times while sleeping each night, resulting in a steep decline in the oxygen level in their blood. Eventually, this will take a significant toll on your health.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include daytime drowsiness and irritability in addition to heavy nighttime snoring often punctuated by loud gasping noises. Call Dr. Katz in Greensboro at 336-346-8988 right away if you or someone you care about displays sleep apnea symptoms.
Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain
Sleep apnea causes the patient’s metabolism to slow down, making it much more difficult to lose weight. Sleep apnea also triggers your body to release a hormone called ghrelin, which will make you crave foods that are high in carbohydrates.
This double whammy effect makes it really difficult for people with sleep apnea to avoid weight gain. When you’re overweight, it puts you at greater risk for additional health concerns, including strokes, diabetes, and heart disease.
Strokes and Heart Disease
Over time, sleep apnea causes a persistent condition of low blood oxygen levels. Your body responds by releasing surges of stress hormones which increase your blood pressure and cause fluctuations in your heart rate. This can lead to strokes and heart disease. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, sleep apnea is “significantly associated with the risk of stroke.”
Heart disease is one of the leading killers in America. In fact, it’s responsible for one in four deaths every year. According to Donna Arnett, who serves as chair and professor of epidemiology at the Alabama University School of Public Health, there’s “very strong evidence for the relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension and heart disease.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it dangerous to leave sleep apnea untreated?
Yes! Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that leads to many symptoms beyond just snoring and not getting enough sleep. Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to several health consequences, including heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and liver problems.
Some of these events can even be fatal in the worst-case scenario, so it’s crucial to get help from an experienced sleep dentist like Dr. Katz. During your consultation at our Greensboro practice, he’ll evaluate your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that fits your needs.
How can I reduce my risk of sleep apnea?
When combined with professional treatment, making certain lifestyle changes may be beneficial in reducing sleep apnea symptoms. Some effective natural remedies that Dr. Katz recommends include:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Exercise regularly (yoga specifically promotes oxygen flow)
- Change your sleep position, also referred to as positional therapy
- Use a humidifier to open your airways
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption, especially before bedtime