Some people think snoring is funny, but sleep apnea is not a joke. According to dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych, this condition can increase your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, and can even pose a danger when driving.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and it occurs when the tongue, tonsils, or other tissues in the throat block the airway. When the patient tries to inhale, the air can’t get through. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is a less common form that occurs when the brain doesn’t tell the body to breathe when it should.
Following are a few more health problems connected to sleep apnea that your dentist Columbia feels you should be aware of.
- High blood pressure. OSA can be a factor in a patient with high blood pressure. Waking up at numerous times throughout the night can cause hormones to switch into overdrive, resulting in higher blood pressure levels. Some patients with high blood pressure who are treated for sleep apnea can typically decrease the medications they are taking for blood pressure.
- Heart disease. Patients with sleep apnea are more likely to experience fatal heart attacks – normally in the middle of the night. This can be the result of low oxygen levels or the stress caused by waking up numerous times. Your dentist Columbia warns that stroke and atrial fibrillation are also connected to OSA.
- Type-2 diabetes. Sleep apnea is quite common among patients who suffer from type-2 diabetes. In fact, approximately 80% of diabetics deal with some sleep apnea. And although studies haven’t shown a distinct link between the two, sleep deprivation can result in insulin resistance, which is a sign of diabetes.
- Weight gain. Extra weight also raises your risk of sleep apnea, and about 30% of patients who suffer with sleep apnea are extremely overweight. Your dentist Columbia has found that OSA can usually be cured if enough weight is lost.
- Adult asthma. Although the link to OSA has not been proven, patients who have sleep apnea may experience fewer asthma episodes.
- Car accidents. Being tired during the day can put people with sleep apnea at an increased risk of falling asleep while driving. In fact, they are up to five times more likely to be involved in traffic accidents.
If you are suffering from sleep apnea, call the office of dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych today to schedule a consultation and let’s discuss your treatment options.