Sleep apnea has been brought to the forefront once again after the announcement that Carrie Fisher died from Sleep Apnea. If you think you have sleep apnea you should not ignore your symptoms. Talk to your doctor to be officially diagnosed and discuss treatment options. Sleep apnea that is left untreated can lead to more health problems: stroke or heart attacks.
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 a CPAP and/or an oral appliance you can ease or even cure some of these issues.
Here are seven health problems you might face if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea(OSA):
1. High blood pressure. If you already have it, sleep apnea can make it worse. When you wake up often during the night, your body gets stressed.That makes your hormone systems go into overdrive, which boosts your blood pressure levels. Also, the level of oxygen in your blood drops when you can’t breathe well, which may add to the problem.
Treatment can make a difference, though. Some people with high blood pressure who get help for sleep apnea will see their blood pressure improve. Their doctors may be able to cut back on their blood pressure medications. (But you shouldn't stop or change your dose without talking to your doctor first.)
2. Heart disease. People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are more likely to have heart attacks.
The causes may be low oxygen or the stress of waking up often. Strokes and atrial fibrillation -- a fast, fluttering heartbeat -- are also linked with the condition.
Sleep apnea disrupts how your body takes in oxygen, which makes it hard for your brain to control how blood flows in your arteries and the brain itself.
3. Type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea is common among people with this condition -- 80% or more of them may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Obesity raises a person’s risk for both disorders. Although studies haven’t shown a cause-and-effect link between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes, not getting enough shut-eye can keep your body from using insulin properly, which leads to diabetes.
4. Weight gain. Extra pounds raise your chances of getting sleep apnea, and the condition also makes it harder to slim down. When you’re overweight, you can have fatty deposits in your neck that block breathing at night. On the flip side, sleep apnea can make your body release more of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you crave carbs and sweets. And when you're tired all the time, you might not be able to turn the food you eat into energy as efficiently, which can lead to weight gain.
The good news? Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can make you feel better, with more energy for exercise and other activities. This can help you lose weight, which can help your sleep apnea.
5. Adult asthma. Science hasn’t proven a link to Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (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.
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 lots of ways to treat it.
Your doctor may recommend a machine called CPAP, short for continuous positive airway pressure. The machine, with a mask attached by a hose, can help you breathe better at night and get the rest you need. It can take some getting used to, but people who use it when they sleep feel better and are healthier.
There are other treatments, too, such as mouth appliances or Oral Appliance Therapy, to reposition your lower jaw into a forward and downward position, opening up your throat. This appliance is custom made for you by Dr. Courey or Dr. Zagami. Talk to your doctor about which option is most likely to help you feel better and avoid other health problems.
Can Sleep Apnea Go Away Over Time?
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that can affect anyone. Loud snoring, breath pauses, irritability and abrupt awakenings are some of the symptoms that characterize this condition. Sleep apnea comes about due to blocked airways. This might lead to uncontrollable snoring and the periodic rise and fall of the chest when sleeping. It can also result in other serious health problems such as diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure.
Sleep apnea cannot go away on its own. This is because it is not a disease that heals after running its course. The cause of sleep apnea has to do with the structure of your anatomy. If you have a soft mouth palate or a dropping upper jaw, then you are likely to suffer from sleep apnea for the rest of your life. The only viable way of correcting obstructed airways is to seek treatment.
Do I Need Treatment for Sleep Apnea?
Certainly, treatment is necessary if you want to get rid of sleep apnea. As mentioned earlier, sleep apnea cannot go away on its own. It can be fatal if not addressed in good time. Fortunately, several treatment options for sleep apnea do exist. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, you should go for a sleep test at a reputable medical facility.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
You can treat sleep apnea naturally using several options. Behavioral changes and lifestyle adjustments are some of the best solutions readily available to most. For instance, avoiding alcohol, caffeine and tobacco a few hours before bedtime can make all the difference in treating sleep apnea.
Nevertheless, the use of mouth appliances as a way of treating sleep apnea is fast gaining traction. Snore guards and mouthpieces have now become popular among people suffering from sleep apnea and snoring.
Where Can I Get Sleep Apnea Treatment?
Oral appliance therapy is one of the safest and most effective ways of treating sleep apnea. A good dentist will not only provide you with much-needed appliances, but they’ll also recommend other viable treatment options to suit your lifestyle. If you think you might have sleep apnea, contact SDNJ at (732) 410-7101 for a consultation today.