You’ve heard it before: Sleep apnea has negative consequences on your overall health. While you might already have heard this, we want to help you gain a better understanding of sleep apnea and why it is so harmful for your health. A lack of sleep can lead to exhaustion and crankiness, but long-term sleep disruption can lead to serious health conditions, too. And, with approximately 25 million adults in the United States suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine), it is important to seek treatment immediately. Here are a few:
Heart Disease and Stroke
A common affliction for those with sleep apnea is heart disease. Those who suffer from heart disease as a result from sleep apnea may have an increased chance of dying by as much as five times the amount of those without sleep apnea. And, as one of the leading causes of death in the country, heart disease can easily be prevented.
Additionally, the risk of stroke is even higher when a person is suffering from untreated sleep apnea. According to research published in “The American Journal of Medicine”, the risk rises even if the patient has no other stroke risk factors. This means sleep apnea must be treated in order to prevent stroke from occurring.
Yes, sleep apnea can even lead to depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that women who are suffering from untreated sleep apnea have a five times greater risk for symptoms of depression. On the other hand, men who have untreated sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to exhibit signs of clinical depression.
As you may know, obesity is the leading cause of sleep apnea, as well as diabetes. Put the two together and your risk goes higher for each. According to research by “Frontiers in Neurology”, up to 83% of Type 2 diabetes patients have sleep apnea and may not have even been aware they had it. When a patient is unaware, it hinders their ability to receive proper treatment, and that means you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms to further educate yourself and your loved ones.
Get screened for sleep apnea, and then seek proper treatment before it worsens your overall health and day-to-day life. Contact Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia to learn more about sleep apnea and ways you can protect yourself.