Health Problems Associated With Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is bothersome enough on its own. Snoring can disturb your partner, you often wake up tired, and it generally lessens your quality of life. But even if you can avoid or accept these inconveniences, it’s important to understand that obstructive sleep apnea paves the way for other health risks.

Because of its effects on oxygen levels, stress, and sleep quality, OSA is the foundation for many other health problems. We’ve outlined some of these problems below.

Heart Disease

As the leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease is a serious problem, especially as you age. Sleep apnea can exacerbate your risk.

When OSA causes your airway to close, there can be a pause in breathing as often as 5-30 times per hour. When this happens, your body may wake suddenly, marked by a gasping sound. This moment releases stress hormones, which are shown – over time – to increase your risk of heart disease. The associated lack of oxygen may also cause your heart to work harder, putting strain on your cardiovascular system.

High Blood Pressure

During sleep, your body goes into a “quiet” state. Your muscles relax and your blood pressure typically drops, giving your cardiovascular system some well-earned rest.

When you have a sleep apnea event, your oxygen-deprived body is desperate to get oxygen moving. It raises your blood pressure as a result. Even worse, it makes blood pressure medication less effective.


The connection between diabetes and OSA is a bit of a chicken-and-egg type situation, and as any statistician will tell you, correlation does not imply causation.

With that said, some research does indicate that sleep apnea alters your glucose metabolism and increases your resistance to insulin.

Do you snore excessively? Do you find yourself waking up tired no matter how much you sleep? These can be signs of obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that interrupts normal breathing patterns while you sleep. Klooster Family Dentistry offers oral appliances to our patients, devices that physically adjust your airway to allow you to get the sleep you deserve and look out for your health. Contact us today for a consultation!