Long Term Risks of Sleep Apnea
Land O' Lakes, FL
Ignoring the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea may cause immediate frustrations, but the long term risks include serious health problems. At All Smiles Sleep Solutions, we can help you get a better night’s rest while also protecting you from other major health risks. We offer non-surgical options. Treatment is customized to fit your specific needs.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the person is unable to breathe properly while they sleep due to a blockage or collapse of tissue around their windpipe. This can be caused from a number of problems, including excessive tissue or fatty deposits, a deviated septum, inflamed tissue from allergies, structural problems, and more. If a person is unable to adequately breathe while they sleep, they are causing their body harm.
The short term effects of sleep apnea can be draining. If a person ceases to breathe while they sleep, their brain sends out a stress hormone to jolt their body just enough to disrupt the REM cycle and have the person take a deep breath. For people with obstructive sleep apnea, the breathing cessation followed by stress hormones and then a gasp of air, can occur many times a night. The result is often a person not getting the rest that their body and brain needs. They may wake with a headache, feeling exhausted, irritable, and overall feeling like they didn’t sleep well.
Obstructive sleep apnea is generally not a temporary disorder that will go away if ignored. In most patients, the disease increases in severity over time. It can be wearing on your day to day life, and is dangerous to your health.
The long term effects of obstructive sleep apnea can be quite harmful to your health. The constant release of stress hormones and inadequate sleep can cause havoc to your body. Patients will often be at higher risk of:
|High Blood Pressure: Patients with sleep apnea experience their blood pressure not falling or relaxing when they sleep. Each time your oxygen level drops, an adrenaline rush, or stress hormone rush, raises your blood pressure to get your body to breathe. This constant rush puts increased stress on your heart causing it to work harder and normalize your blood pressure. Eventually this increases your risk of stroke.
|Heart Disease: In addition to stroke, increased blood pressure damages the heart and increases your risk of heart disease. We want to keep our heart pumping healthy and strong.
|Cancer: Cancer is cells that have gone awry. Our bodies actually fight these rogue cells daily. Overworking our hearts, increased adrenaline, increased stress, and lack of sleep, are all symptoms for causing cells to be out of whack and the development of cancer.
|Progressive Brain Damage: Obstructive sleep apnea can cause brain damage to the higher functions of the brain, effects such as poor memory, decreased cognitive functions and emotional fluctuations due to inadequate sleep, increased stress hormones and frequent periods of decreased oxygen.
Studies reported by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, completed over a twenty year period, found that patients with obstructive sleep apnea were more than twice as likely to develop cancer and more than four times as likely to suffer a stroke.
We can help you investigate the possibilities of why you suffer from sleep apnea and then discuss a treatment plan. Physicians are often quick to suggest a CPAP as an all around answer, but sometimes the solution is easier than being bound to a machine. We may be able to provide both non-surgical and surgical solutions.