The Long-Term Effects of Sleep Apnea

You wake up in the morning to sun pouring in your windows. You open your eyes, stretch, and take a deep breath: you’re starting the day refreshed and ready. It’s a feeling we all love, and for people with sleep apnea, it’s also an evasive one.

But sleep apnea causes a lot more problems than grogginess: it has serious, long-term health effects. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you owe it to yourself to get treated

A Brief Refresher

Sleep apnea is a relatively common disorder where your breathing is interrupted during sleep. These interruptions can be as short as a few seconds or as long as several minutes; either way, the disturbance is significant enough to where your body forces you awake, often marked by snorting or a sharp inhalation of air.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, where folds in your throat, obesity, or other factors cause a physical obstruction of air.

Long-Term Effects of Sleep Apnea

Because sleep apnea interrupts breathing, it also interrupts the regular flow of blood. So organs that depend on a reliable supply of oxygen – your brain, your heart – get put under additional strain. It’s for this reason that sleep apnea correlates with increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Those symptoms can compound and worsen asthma, erectile dysfunction, and other seemingly unrelated issues.

But sleep apnea also interrupts sleep, and the effects of sleep deprivation are also troubling. Waking up unrested can result in a lack of focus or feeling “in a fog” throughout the day. Because sleep helps consolidate memories, sleep apnea can also cause memory loss. The inability to sleep can also cause irritability and even depression.

Do you find yourself waking up unusually tired? Does your spouse complain about your loud snoring? If the problem is frequent, you may have sleep apnea! Klooster Family Dentistry can provide you with a dental appliance, which significantly mitigates obstructive sleep apnea. Dental appliances are covered by most insurance plans. Get the sleep you deserve: contact us today for an appointment!