The dangers of sleep apnea and heavy snoring are often overlooked and left untreated. The sleep apnea dentist at our Pasadena Texas Dental Office educates our patients on the somber health risks that accompany obstructive sleep apnea.
Patients with apnea may awaken from 5 to more than 20 times per hour and not be aware of waking, but suffer the effects. They awaken because the body does not have enough oxygen for the brain, organs and body.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the cessation of airflow lasting more than 10 seconds. Most sleep apnea sufferers experience several to a hundred episodes of critically low oxygen per night. For the uneducated, it may not seem like an unrelenting danger because the patient eventually awakens slightly to clear the obstruction and take the necessary breath. However, the lack of oxygen to the body, even for a brief period of time, can have long-lasting health effects.
During sleep muscle tone is greatly reduced. In OSA events, the soft tissue of the neck and tongue occlude the airway. Then airway collapses due to negative pressure from the expansion of the lungs. Next, the body had a significant drop in oxygen saturation, from 99% to as low as 50% oxygen saturation. This oxygen imbalance can cause countless health problems such as an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Sleep Apnea has many negative health risks as sleep effects the entire body. For example, growth hormones are secreted during sleep. As sleep is interrupted over and over again during the night, the hormone levels change and negatively affect the organs and body.
Sleep Apnea Risks
We all know how important a good night’s rest is to our body, mine and spirt. During sleep apnea events, patients are forced to come out of the rejuvenating REM sleep in order to breath. This continuous nightly intermittent interruption throughout the night carries over to the next day, seriously affecting the body’s ability to function. Concentration and alertness and are easily broken, and patients may experience poor productivity and fatigue as a result of excessive daytime sleepiness. Also, drowsy driving is huge problem and causes motor vehicle accidents.
Health Risks of Sleep Apnea:
- Heart attack
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Muscle pain
- Inefficient metabolism
- Loss of short term memory
- Gastric reflux
- Severe anxiety
- Mood swings/temperamental behavior
- Memory and concentration impairment
- Intellectual deterioration
Finally, there is good news for sleep apnea sufferers. With proper sleep apnea treatment, it is possible to beat the negative health effects of sleep apnea. Our office works with Medical Doctors to provide an alternative to CPAP machines. CPAP machines ram air down your throat at night. CPAP patients have to wear a mask and are connected to a machine. We offer freedom for the CPAP machine. Our Pasadena Texas Sleep Practice offers Sleep Apnea Oral Devices. These devices are worn at night and they pull the lower jaw downward and forward.
This movement opens up the airway preventing obstruction. Patients are not tethered to a CPAP machine. Patients can sleep in any position they want. Following successful treatment, patients are alert, active, have a higher metabolism, more energy and system functions can completely return to normal. If you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact us at 832-457-0647 for a full evaluation right away.