Stop what you’re doing and put sleep apnea and snoring at the top of your list for seeking treatment. Why? Because untreated sleep apnea can lead to further complications with your health. Let’s take a look at 3 negative effects of untreated sleep apnea on your oral and overall health.
High Blood Pressure and Stroke
A sudden drop in blood-oxygen levels occurring during sleep apnea episodes increase blood pressure and places a strain on your cardiovascular system. It is estimated that 50% of people with sleep apnea develop high blood pressure (hypertension), which can play a serious role in heart disease.
Additionally, when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, your brain tissue is deprived of oxygen and nutrients. Within just a few minutes, brain cells begin to die. Through the damage and stress to your blood vessels, it is believed that this is caused by blood pressure and oxygen changes from sleep apnea, which increases your risk of stroke.
Worsening of ADHD
Not everyone with sleep apnea has ADHD, just like not everyone with ADHD has sleep apnea, but it can be possible. Large tonsils and adenoids can partially block the airway at night, which can cause snoring and poor sleep. That, in turn, may lead to attention problems during the day, in addition to daytime sleepiness.
Untreated sleep apnea may also be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents. So, at the end of the day, if you suffer from sleep apnea or are experiencing symptoms that you believe are indicators of sleep apnea, it is important to seek treatment immediately.
Depression is not something that should be ignored, nor should people think it would simply go away with time. The relationship between sleep and depression is complex, but it is very apparent. It has been shown that depression may cause sleep problems and sleep problems may cause or contribute to depression. For some people depression symptoms occur before the onset of sleep complications, but for others sleep problems appear first. Either way, sleep problems are associated with more severe depression.
At Craniofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Center of Virginia, we are available to help in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. Remember, untreated sleep apnea can be detrimental to your health, so contact Dr. Bonnie Foster today to get a better night’s sleep while also improving your overall health and wellbeing.