Health Risks of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep Study

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a situation in which the entire upper or lower airway is blocked causing air flow to stop.

Studies have shown that undiagnosed and untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can lead to the following health risks:

  • Nocturnal Strokes
  • Nocturnal Heart Attacks
  • Arrhythmias
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Excessive Pressure on the Heart, Lungs, etc.
  • Nocturnal Depletion of Oxygen to the Brain
  • Memory Loss
  • Daytime Sleepiness
  • Weight Gain

For those breathing normally, air passes through the nose and past the flexible structures in the back of the throat such as the soft palate, uvula and tongue. During sleep the muscles relax and the airway stays open. Snoring is created by the vibration of the pharyngeal soft tissues and the epiglottis as air passes through an airway that is too small to allow for smooth, unrestricted flow.

Facts About Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Untreated OSA can take up to 12-15 years off your life. For comparison’s sake, Smoking takes only 7-10 years off your life and Type II Diabetes takes 5-10 years off. Other facts include the following:

  • OSA also increases the risk of early death by 46%.
  • 70% of Americans are undiagnosed and untreated
  • 18% of men and 8% women between the age of 30-70 suffer from some level of OSA.
  • Of those, less than 25% have been successfully treated.

Do you have OSA or think that you might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea? Contact our Dental Sleep Apnea NC team today for a consultation.