Sleep apnea doesn’t just minimize your quality of life. Untreated sleep apnea can actually shorten your life. In many ways.
Untreated sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other types of heart disease. These issues, in turn, can result in a fatal stroke or heart attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States.
Some studies suggest a link between untreated sleep apnea and Alzheimer’s Disease. You can read about it in this article in Medical News Today.
Motor Vehicle Accident
If you frequently miss out on quality sleep, you develop a sleep deficit. Sleep deficit diminishes cognitive ability. In other words, your brain doesn’t work as well.
For example, it can impair the capacity to focus and increase reaction time. This puts drivers in danger of a motor vehicle accident.
Sleep apnea is linked to higher incidences of motor vehicle accidents due to decreased attention. John Hopkins Medicine
The Three Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three different sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea describes a condition where your throat muscles relax. Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to control your breathing. The final type is called complex sleep apnea syndrome. This type occurs when someone has a combination of the two previously listed.
The Carrollton Dentist Can Help
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) conducted by a dentist can be an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has approved OAT in the following circumstances:
- As a first-line treatment for people with mild to moderate OSA
- As a first-line treatment for patients with severe OSA who are unable to use CPAP devices
- As a combination of therapy (using CPAP and an oral appliance together)
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
Not sure if you have sleep apnea? If you don’t have a bed partner that has observed you having lapses in breathing while you sleep, consider these symptoms.
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
- Sleep Deprivation
- Excessive Snoring
- Episodes of Not Breathing
- Mouth Breathing
- Dry Mouth/Throat
- Frequent Headaches
If you experience several of these symptoms, we invite you to discuss it with us.
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