Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Accepting New Patients Near Chicago, IL, Nationwide & Worldwide

The dangers of sleep apnea and heavy snoring are often overlooked and left untreated. Our dentists educate patients on the serious health risks that accompany obstructive sleep apnea.

Patients with apnea may awaken from 5 to more than 10 times per hour and not be aware of waking, but suffer the effects.

What Does Sleep Apnea Do to the Body?

We've already discussed that sleep apnea is the cessation of airflow lasting more than 10 seconds, and the majority of sleep apnea sufferers experience several episodes per night. While it may not seem like a pressing danger because the apneic eventually awakens slightly to take the necessary breath, the lack of oxygen to the body, even for a short period of time, can have lasting health effects.

When the airway collapses due to negative pressure from the expansion of the lungs, the body experiences a significant drop in oxygen saturation, from 95% to as low as 50%. This oxygen starvation can cause countless health problems, most notably an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Growth hormones are secreted during sleep, particularly in the first episode of delta sleep. As sleep is interrupted, these secretions may change and negatively affect many systems. Studies are currently being done on the effects of apnea on the hypothalamus and pituitary systems.

woman exhausted by sleep apnea and snoring

We've heard thousands of times how important a good night's rest is to our whole body function and overall health. During sleep apnea events, patients are forced to come out of nourishing REM sleep in order to regain breath. This intermittent interruption throughout the night carries over to the next day, seriously affecting the body's ability to function.

Alertness and concentration are easily broken, and patients may experience fatigue and poor productivity as a result of excessive daytime sleepiness. And sleep apnea sufferers are not alone in health risks from sleep apnea – reports of apneic patients falling asleep at the wheel, or causing an accident are not uncommon, and it is estimated that partners of apneics lose an average of 1 hour of sleep a night!

Health Risks of Sleep Apnea

  • Hypertension
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Muscle pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Inefficient metabolism
  • Loss of short term memory
  • Weight gain
  • Gastric reflux
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Severe anxiety
  • Memory and concentration impairment
  • Intellectual deterioration
  • Mood swings/temperamental behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Impotence

There is good news for sleep apnea sufferers, however. With proper sleep apnea treatment, you can beat the negative health effects of sleep apnea. Following successful treatment, patients are alert, active, have a higher metabolism, more energy & system functions can completely return to normal.

CPAP is the most common medical treatment for apnea. If you can not tolerate or dislike the treatment, our sleep apnea dentist can supply comfortable options. Please call Think Better Life at 1-847-533-8313 today to schedule your evaluation.