Two Big Reasons To Treat Sleep Apnea Soon
You don’t have to ask anymore, and she doesn’t have to say anything. You can tell from looking in your wife’s eyes that she didn’t sleep well.
You also know why — you were snoring all night. When you first got married, she found it amusing. She even said it was cute the way you snored.
Now, the novelty has worn off. She still loves you, but she wants to get a good night’s sleep, too.
You know you should schedule a sleep study, but you keep making excuses to put it off. If your wife’s exhausted face isn’t enough to convince you to get treatment, then maybe you should consider the potentially fatal consequences of letting it continue untreated.
We will be discussing two big possible consequences of sleep apnea today.
And we encourage you to make an appointment with our dentists at Hubbard & Leath Dental in Rochester Hills, MI, to discuss how we could help you.
Before we get into the link between sleep apnea and cardiovascular health, let’s give you a short review of what sleep apnea is.
It is considered a sleep disorder because it prevents you from getting healthy sleep. Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea include the loud, constant snoring that keeps your spouse awake, feeling irritable, and frequent daytime sleepiness (more on his later).
The big problem with sleep apnea is that it means you have trouble breathing when you are asleep. As a result, your body feels stressed when it should be recuperating.
This stress can affect hormones in your body, and that can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension). When this happens, you have an a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease.
To illustrate this, we remind you of a study published by the Harvard Medical School. The study included 1,500 Spanish men. Every participant had undergone a sleep study and had been offered the use of a CPAP or similar machine to treat their condition.
After 10 years, 14 percent of the participants had a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular problem that required a surgical procedure. Some died as well.
The researchers discovered that participants who did not treat their sleep apnea were three times more likely than the other participants to have heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues.
We mentioned earlier that daytime sleepiness is a common symptom of sleep apnea. There is a good reason for this. When you have sleep apnea, you aren’t getting healthy sleep.
There are four stages of sleep, and healthy sleep includes two stages of deep sleep. One of which is REM sleep, which is when you dream. Because of changes that occur in your body during the deeper stages of sleep, many researchers believe they play an important role in helping your body recover from injuries and illnesses.
People with sleep apnea rarely reach deep sleep. Since they have trouble breathing in their sleep, their bodies will wake them up for short periods of time so they can breathe before falling asleep again.
This can cause sleep deprivation. In the morning, you can wake up feeling almost as tired as you did when you went to bed. This also explains why you can find yourself struggling to stay awake at your desk or, more dangerously, behind the wheel.
Before you dismiss this as a just a coincidence, consider a study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine last year.
The researchers studied more than 1,400 people with sleep apnea. They compared their accidents rates with people who did not have sleep apnea.
They concluded that people with untreated sleep apnea were 2.5 times more likely to be the driver in a motor vehicle collision than people without sleep apnea. Treating sleep apnea reduced the accident risk by 70 percent.
And for what it’s worth, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates the drowsiness is a factor in 328,000 car crashes every year in the United States. This includes 6,400 fatal crashes.
Treat Your Sleep Apnea Soon
The longer you delay in treating your sleep apnea, the more you may be putting your health at risk. CPAP machines work great for some people, but other people need another solution for their snoring and other symptoms.
This is when Hubbard & Leath Dental can help by making an oral appliance that will help you and your spouse get the healthy sleep that you need.