Obstructive sleep apnea is when the soft tissues in your neck and throat obstruct your airways during the relaxed state of sleep. People that suffer with OSA experience arousal episodes of suddenly waking up as many as 100 times every night.
The condition raises your risk for other health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes. It can even make you more dangerous on the road.
The good news?
Sleep apnea is treatable, and it can ease, and even cure, some of these health issues.
Here are 5 health problems you may face if you have OSA:
1. High blood pressure
Constant waking in the middle of the night can put stress on the body, making hormone systems go into hyper mode. This can boost blood pressure levels.
Treatment can make a difference, though. Some people with high BP who get help for sleep apnea will see their blood pressure improve.
2. Heart disease
People with OSA at risk for heart attacks. The causes may be low oxygen or the stress of waking up often. Strokes and atrial fibrillation — a fast, fluttering heartbeat — are also linked with the condition.
Sleep apnea disrupts how your body takes in oxygen, which makes it hard for your brain to control how blood flows in your arteries and the brain itself.
3. Weight gain
Extra pounds raise your chances of getting sleep apnea, and the condition also makes it harder to lose weight.
When you’re overweight, you can have fatty deposits in your neck that block breathing at night. What’s worse… sleep apnea can make your body release more of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you crave carbs and sweets. And when you’re tired all the time, you might not be able to turn the food you eat into energy as efficiently, which can lead to weight gain.
The good news? Treatment for OSA can make you feel better, with more energy for exercise. This can also help you lose weight.
4. Car accidents
When you feel groggy, you raise your risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Studies show people with sleep apnea are up to five times more likely than normal sleepers to have traffic accidents.
5. Type 2 diabetes
Sleep apnea is common among people with Type 2 diabetes– 80% or more of them may have OSA.
Obesity raises a person’s risk for both disorders. Although studies haven’t shown a cause-and-effect link between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes, not getting enough shut-eye can keep your body from using insulin properly, which leads to diabetes.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Knoxville
If sleep issues are affecting your quality of life, you could be experiencing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This condition can sometimes be easily alleviated with a customized mouthguard.
To schedule an appointment, contact our Knoxville dentist office at 865-584-8630. We are proud to provide comprehensive dentistry to patients in West Knoxville, the Bearden area, the 37919 zip code, and surrounding neighborhoods.