What You May Not Know About the Effects of Sleep Apnea

January 24, 2014

494282527It’s common knowledge that snoring can be incredibly annoying, but did you know that this noisy nuisance can also be indicative of a common sleep disorder? Sleep apnea, a condition that causes intermittent lapses in breathing during sleep, can lead to a variety of seemingly unrelated health problems if left untreated. At Dental Expressions in Oklahoma City, OK, Dr. Frazier and Dr. Holman can help you understand everything you need to know about sleep apnea and its treatment.

Complications of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Aside from chronic daytime fatigue associated with a lack of deep, restful sleep, sleep apnea can potentially lead to a multitude of health issues of great concern. Because the affected patient actually ceases breathing for up to 10 seconds at a time, blood oxygen levels can quickly drop to dangerous levels. This can lead to high blood pressure, or hypertension, in the lungs and throughout the rest of the body as well. Approximately 50 percent of people with sleep apnea suffer from hypertension.

Other complications associated with sleep apnea include:

  • Disease of the blood vessels and coronary arteries
  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Respiratory distress and failure
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Irregular heart beat

Fortunately, there are ways to combat the effects of sleep apnea, thereby greatly reducing your risk of developing these and other complications. Talking with your dentists at Dental Expressions can help you determine whether or not you would benefit more from a snoreguard (an oral appliance that opens up your airways at night) or another therapy (like a CPAP machine).

Getting the Help You Need

If you or your partner snores loudly or experiences trouble breathing at night, it’s possible that sleep apnea is the cause. Contact our office in Oklahoma City, OK today and find out how Dr. Frazier and Dr. Holman can help you discover the sleep apnea treatment that best suits your individual condition and lifestyle. We also serve patients from throughout Midwest City, Moore, Norman and beyond. We look forward to helping you get a better, healthier night’s sleep!