Living with undiagnosed sleep apnea has the potential to pose serious health risks for those affected. While the condition itself can pose direct threats to a person’s well-being, its symptoms can also affect the sufferer's health indirectly. Symptoms such as regular breathing interruptions during sleep can have profound effects on seemingly unrelated systems.
Effects of Regular Interrupted Sleep
Sleep apnea is a disorder that impairs a person’s sleep cycles by interrupting their breathing. Because this can happen hundreds of times a night, those inflicted with this condition can experience consequences related to sleep deprivation.
As a result of inadequate sleep, some patients have also struggled with:
- Daytime fatigue
- High blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions
- Type 2 diabetes
Repeated waking interrupts the body’s natural sleep cycle, and as a result can prevent sleep apnea sufferers from accessing deep restorative sleep. For some patients, chronic daytime fatigue can cause them to have difficulty concentrating. While others may be tempted to drift off in the middle of the day.
These episodes of microsleep can be particularly dangerous because they can take hold at inopportune moments in the day such as while a person is:
- Operating heavy machinery
- In school
High Blood Pressure and Heart Problems
People who are struggling with sleep apnea, often struggle for breath while they’re sleeping. These breathing interruptions can deplete a person’s blood oxygen levels. Lower blood oxygen levels can require the body to increase blood pressure in order to deliver an adequate amount of blood to a person’s organs.
Prolonged increases in blood pressure can affect heart health as it has to pump harder to deliver oxygen throughout the body.
Type 2 Diabetes
Lastly, patients that suffer from undiagnosed sleep apnea or are otherwise untreated can also experience insulin resistance. Insufficient sleep can trigger the body’s stress response and increase the release of hormones such as cortisol and norepinephrine, which in large quantities have been associated with insulin resistance.
Contact Evolution Dental Today
If you live in Calgary, Northwest Calgary, Cochrane or other nearby areas of Alberta and would like to learn more about your sleep apnea treatment options, you can call Evolution Dental today at 403-768-2433 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kendra Schick.
*all procedures performed at our practice by a general dentist