How Untreated Sleep Apnea Affects Health

How Untreated Sleep Apnea Affects Health

sleep apnea DubuqueSleep apnea is insidious – it can make a negative impact on total wellbeing if left untreated. Research has found many links to the incidence of sleep apnea and an increased risk for cardiovascular and pulmonary problems. Along with increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke, untreated sleep apnea affects cognitive and emotional wellbeing because it causes sleep deprivation. Since sleep apnea affects so many of the body’s systems, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Our oral surgeons provide surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea and Your Cardiovascular Health

It is believed that sleep apnea weakens the heart. The heart is a muscle, and when weakened by disease or other issues, it cannot pump blood efficiently. The reason scientists believe that sleep apnea weakens the cardiovascular system is because sleep apnea causes erratic breathing throughout the night. It also prevents a person from resting properly. The body and its many systems, including the cardiovascular system, require rest to function optimally. Without rest, the body is overworked. All of this leads to strain on the heart.

Mental Wellbeing and Sleep Apnea

Your cognitive and mental wellbeing is at stake if you have untreated sleep apnea. Without treatment, sleep apnea will cause sleep deprivation, and sleep deprivation can have a profound effect on our mental wellbeing. Sleep deprivation will cause irritability and mood disturbances like depression and anxiety over time. Without proper rest, our cognitive abilities suffer, too. Sleep deprivation contributes to memory loss and concentration problems.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

There are a few ways to address sleep apnea. Non-surgical methods include the use of oral appliances and CPAP machines. While these methods might help some patients, there are others who might need surgery. When treating sleep apnea from a surgical standpoint, the objective is to promote a healthy, unobstructed airway. This may be accomplished by removing excess soft tissue at the back of the mouth or realigning jawbones.

If you have questions about sleep apnea, call Great River Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled oral surgeons.