Find out how Untreated Sleep Apnea could Lead to an Early Death

Categories: Sleep Disorders

sleep apnea and deathSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

Sleep apnea is a common yet potentially life-threatening condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep, leading to a decrease in oxygen levels and disrupted sleep patterns. Despite its prevalence, sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed and untreated, posing significant risks to overall health and well-being. Sleep apnea is more than just snoring or feeling tired during the day. It poses significant risks to both physical and mental health, making it crucial to address this condition as soon as possible. So today on the blog, our Scotts Valley airway dentists Drs. Ebrahimian at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry share how untreated sleep apnea could lead to an early death.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common and serious sleep disorder that results in interrupted breathing while asleep, which leads to reduced air flow and lower blood oxygenation levels. It affects approximately one billion people worldwide, with many cases going undiagnosed. This condition can have detrimental effects on overall health and well-being.

How sleep apnea affects oxygen levels throughout the body

Reduced airflow means that your body receives less oxygen, which strains organs like the heart and lowers oxygen levels in the blood, leading to systemic and chronic inflammation. Additionally, inflammation is the precursor to many diseases like heart disease, stroke, insulin resistance, Alzheimer’s and even cancer.

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Serious Health Conditions

Risks to the Heart

There is strong evidence linking untreated sleep apnea to a higher chance of developing cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, sleep apnea can worsen outcomes for those with heart disease, increasing the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and coronary artery disease.

Impact on Energy Levels

Chronic sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea can greatly affect how well you function during the day. It often leads to ongoing fatigue and difficulties with staying focused and remembering things.

Effects on Mental Health

Untreated sleep apnea can also have an impact on your mental health, potentially causing mood swings, depression, and anxiety disorders. In fact, studies have shown a significant link between sleep apnea and mental health conditions.

Sleep Apnea Treatment: Why It’s Crucial for Long-Term Health

The main goal of sleep apnea treatment is to restore normal breathing during sleep and reduce associated health risks. Drs. Ebrahimian offer oral appliance therapy to manage mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy is convenient and comfortable because the appliance is made from impressions of your mouth and does not require electricity like a CPAP machine. Additionally, oral appliance therapy works by slightly repositioning the lower jaw to help open the airway for improved airflow while sleeping. This treatment aims to improve sleep quality and reduce the side effects of sleep apnea, including lowering your risk of certain health issues.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

Sleep apnea is diagnosed by undergoing an official sleep study conducted by a sleep specialist. However, Drs. Ebrahimian, experts in sleep apnea management, offer airway screenings to determine your risk level of a sleep-breathing disorder. We also take into account your overall medical history and most recent physical examination. If Drs. Ebrahimian determine that you could benefit from a sleep study, they will recommend you to a specialist.

Lifestyle Changes to Consider

If you have sleep apnea, even with treatment, there are other lifestyle modifications that you can make to lessen the severity of the disorder. Manage your weight by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Additionally, consume alcohol in moderation. Avoid drinking alcohol too close to bedtime because it relaxes muscles, including in the throat, which could worsen sleep apnea. Also, practice good sleep hygiene by establishing a bedtime routine, and stick to a consistent wake-up to bedtime schedule even on your days off.

Sleep apnea evaluation in Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, and Los Gatos, California

If you’re tired of feeling tired everyday or are a heavy snorer, consider scheduling a sleep apnea screening at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry by calling (831) 438-4411 today. Seeking treatment right away can help you maintain your health long-term.