Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes interruptions in breathing frequently while sleeping. The most common cause of the condition is due to an obstruction in the airway. While asleep, the airways will narrow, causing breathing to become interrupted. These pauses in breathing can occur hundreds of times per night with each pause potentially lasting longer than a minute. Those with the disorder need treatment from their dentist in Grande Prairie, AB to protect their health and quality of life. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to potentially deadly complications.
SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP APNEA
It is estimated, 200,000 cases of sleep apnea are diagnosed each year. However, the number of people with the condition is expected to be far higher. Many people are unware of the symptoms of the sleep disorder, allowing it to go untreated for several years.
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is loud, chronic snoring and morning time headaches. However, symptoms can also include waking often at night choking or gasping for air. It is not uncommon to wake with a sore or dry throat. Many will have trouble sleeping, which often leads to daytime sleepiness and irritability.
If you experience any of the symptoms of the disorder, you need proper diagnosis to treat the condition. Untreated sleep apnea will produce serious health complications.
COMPLICATIONS OF UNTREATED SLEEP APNEA
When left untreated, sleep apnea will eventually take a toll on your overall health and quality of life. Lack of adequate sleep leads to daytime fatigue, which can progress to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation greatly reduces your quality of life, causing mood changes, depression, loss of cognitive abilities and even increases your risk for workplace and vehicle accidents. However, the complications extend beyond quality of life as well.
Sleep apnea is directly linked to high blood pressure and heart complications. The sudden drops in oxygen levels causes an increase in pressure and strain on the cardiovascular system, increasing the risk for high blood pressure. It’s not uncommon for metabolic syndrome to develop as well due to the strain on the heart.
In addition, those with untreated sleep apnea tend to develop insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Liver problems can also develop as a result of untreated sleep apnea. There is also an increased risk for complications with medications and surgery due to the breathing problems.
DIAGNOSING SLEEP APNEA
To diagnose sleep apnea in Grande Prairie, AB, you will require a sleep study. You will be monitored while sleeping to gather data related to your oxygen levels and other vital information. The data from the study is then interpreted to provide a treatment plan. Treatment for sleep apnea often involves the use of an oral appliance or a CPAP machine from your dentist.
At Access Dental, we provide treatment for sleep apnea. We will help you protect your health while you regain control over your quality of life. If you are ready to sleep soundly with sleep apnea treatment, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.