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7 Ways Untreated Sleep Apnea Can Hurt Your Health

Monday, February 26, 2018

Snoring can make for a bad night’s sleep, for you and your bedmate. But if it happens because you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it’s a sign of a bigger problem.

The condition raises your risk for other health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes. It can even make you more dangerous on the road. But when you treat sleep apnea, with an oral appliance or a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP), you can ease or even cure some of these issues.

Here are seven health problems you might face if you have OSA:

1. High blood pressure. If you already have it, sleep apnea can make it worse.

2. Heart disease. People with OSA are more likely to have heart attacks.

3. Type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea is common among people with this condition -- 80% or more of them may have OSA.

4. Weight gain. Extra pounds raise your chances of getting sleep apnea, and the condition also makes it harder to slim down.

5. Adult asthma. Science hasn’t proven a link to OSA, but people who get sleep apnea treatment may find they have fewer asthma attacks.

6. Acid reflux. There’s no proof that sleep apnea causes this kind of heartburn, but many people say it’s a problem. Treating it seems to improve apnea symptoms for some people, sleep doctors say.

7. Car accidents. When you feel groggy, you raise your risk of falling asleep at the wheel. People with sleep apnea are up to five times more likely than normal sleepers to have traffic accidents.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

All the health problems linked to the condition can sound scary, but there are ways to treat it. If you believe you may have sleep apnea, be sure to speak with your physician. If you have already had a sleep study and been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but do not use a CPAP to treat it, you may be a candidate for an oral appliance help you breathe better at night and get the rest you need.

Simply schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Zagami or Dr. Courey to find out if you are a candidate for sleep appliance therapy for sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Screening Questions

Yes = 1

No = 0

Do you SNORE loudly?

Do you often feel tired, fatigued, or sleepy during the daytime?

Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?

Are you obese/ very overweight – BMI more than 35 kg/m2?

Neck Circumference >16 inches?

Are you male?

Add Up Your Score – >

0 – 2,  low risk of sleep apnea

3 – 4 intermediate risk of having sleep apnea

5 – 8 then you are at high risk of having sleep apnea

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