What Are the Hidden Dangers of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

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Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which your breathing briefly and repeatedly stops while you sleep. The term “apnea” refers to a breathing pause that lasts for at least 10 seconds. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the muscles in the back of your throat fail to keep the airway open despite your efforts to breathe. Another form of this condition is central sleep apnea, in which the brain fails to control breathing during sleep. However, obstructive sleep apnea is far more common compared to central sleep apnea. 

If you have this condition, it is best to seek treatment before it becomes a danger to your health. To help you learn about the harmful effects of sleep apnea, Cambridge Dental Group has compiled a list of them. Read on below! 

a lady peacefully sleeping

Sleep apnea increases your risk of heart attacks

The reason behind this may be due to low levels of oxygen or the stress from frequently waking up. Strokes and atrial fibrillation (a fast fluttering heartbeat) are also linked with obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea disrupts how the body takes in oxygen, which in turn makes it difficult for your brain to control how blood flows in your arteries and into the brain itself. 

High blood pressure

If you already have high blood pressure, sleep apnea can make it worse. When you frequently wake up during the night, your body gets stressed. This makes your hormone systems go into overdrive, boosting your blood pressure levels. Also, the amount of oxygen in your blood drops when you can’t breathe properly, which contributes to the problem.

Type 2 diabetes

Sleep apnea is a common condition for people with type 2 diabetes—around 80 percent or more of people with type 2 diabetes have sleep apnea. Obesity raises a person’s risk for both of these disorders. Studies have not yet shown a cause-and-effect connection between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes. However, it has been speculated that not getting enough sleep can prevent your body from using insulin properly, which can lead to diabetes. 

Acid reflux

There is no concrete evidence that sleep apnea causes this kind of heartburn, but a lot of people say that it is a problem. For some people, treating reflux seems to improve the symptoms of sleep apnea, and treating sleep apnea helps with symptoms of reflux; this is according to sleep doctors.

Don’t let sleep apnea cause harm to your overall health! We offer FREE Sleep Apnea Screening in Dearborn Heights, MI. Schedule an appointment with us at Cambridge Dental Group to avail of this free service. We are located at 27281 W. Warren Street, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127.