You may be tired of hearing your partner complain about your snoring. You may just be tired. Perhaps you have changed your sleep habits and nothing is working. You may be suffering from sleep apnea. This common sleep disorder is concerning in many ways.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder in sleep usually caused by continuous or repetitive upper airway obstruction(s) causing breathing pauses. But, if you have sleep apnea, you have much more to worry about.
Systems Affected by Sleep Apnea
Other than a good night’s sleep, sleep apnea has many dangerous effects on your body. This can include:
- Cranial. Your brain is a delicate organ and due to sleep apnea, you could experience memory loss, foggy or unclear thinking, and even depression as a result of the lack of sleep.
- Cardiovascular. Your heart will undergo many changes as a result of sleep apnea, and you should ask your doctor and dentist if you have the following: high blood pressure, strokes, irregular heart beat (or arrhythmia), and in the worst cases, heart failure.
- Genitals. Sleep apnea can affect your sex organs; resulting in a disinterest, or even an inabilty to perform. Men may even experience erectile dysfunction.
- Respiratory. As you are already struggling breathing, it should come as no surprise that your lungs could be affected by sleep apnea. You could have trouble breathing, lowered oxygen levels, and even adult asthma.
- Nervous Systems. One type of sleep apnea, called central sleep apnea, is caused by a disruption in the brain’s signals that enable you to breathe. This type of sleep apnea can also cause neurological symptoms like numbness and tingling.
- Digestive Systems. Sleep apnea can increase the risks that you may develop diabetes as well. Your stomach can experience negative side affects; with acid reflux and heartburn as very real concerns. Sleep apnea can also make your body more likely to store calories as fat. When you have untreated sleep apnea, you could develop fatty liver disease and elevated enzyme levels. Sleep apnea can be as harmful to your liver as alcoholism. Your liver helps remove unwanted or dangerous molecules in your body. If it is malfunctioning, you could be putting yourself in serious danger.
Do You Suffer From Sleep Apena? Contact a Corpus Christi Dentist today!
Our office has the education and experience to help our patients recognize whether they have sleep apnea or not. You might wonder why you should see a dentist for sleep apnea. While most doctors prescribe CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) for sleep apnea, dentists offer a more comfortable option. While CPAP is more effective, oral appliances are more comfortable, and many people get better results from them.