Dangers of Sleep Apnea
When you wake up, do you feel alert and refreshed, or are you perhaps starting to notice that your days are dragging on as you struggle with unexplained fatigue? Do you never feel truly rested, no matter how much sleep you think are getting at night? Does an elbow jab you awake more often than not, with an annoyed partner snapping at you about your snoring again? If you struggle with any of these problems, then there is a good chance that you are struggling with a fairly common condition known as sleep apnea.
Over 22 million Americans have some degree of this condition, with most of them having a more moderate to severe problem. Sleep apnea is not simply about not feeling rested or irritating your significant other. We here at David Crumpton, DDS strongly advise that our patients get treated for sleep apnea as soon as possible to prevent lasting and possibly lethal complications from this condition.
What is Sleep Apnea and Why Should I Worry?
Sleep apnea is an extremely common condition, which occurs when the person who suffers from it stops breathing as they sleep. They typically wake up several times per hour, choking and sputtering. Certain demographics are more likely to suffer from it than others. Males are more likely to have it, as are older people. Overweight people are more likely than average weight individuals to have sleep apnea, as are people who smoke or drink alcohol. Certain medications can cause it, as can having a thick throat or narrow airway or enlarged tonsils.
Sleep apnea can be quite dangerous if left untreated. It has been linked to a wide variety of disorders that can negatively impair your life. For instance, people with sleep apnea are more likely to have daytime fatigue. While this may seem more like a mild inconvenience, tired people make bad decisions and can endanger themselves if they try to engage in high-risk activities while tired, such as driving. Sleep apnea is also linked with insulin resistance and diabetes, and people who have this condition are more likely to have metabolic syndrome.
Sleep apnea can also cause problems with the liver. Fatty liver disease is possible when someone has sleep apnea, as is elevated liver enzymes and scars on the liver. People who have sleep apnea are also more likely to have heart disease and an irregular heartbeat. They can die suddenly from an arrhythmia, or they may have a heart attack or stroke. In short, sleep apnea is nothing to mess around with and needs to be addressed quickly to prevent dangerous problems.
There are many different treatment options for those who have sleep apnea. For those who have resistant sleep apnea that is not responding to other treatments like lifestyle changes or other non-surgical interventions, surgical treatment may be necessary to help relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea. Surgery to remove enlarged tonsils or the adenoids may be necessary, or we may advise a jaw repositioning procedure to help treat sleep apnea.
Call Our Office Today to Find Out if You Suffer from Sleep Apnea
If you suspect that you may be suffering from sleep apnea and you want to schedule a consultation with us to determine if you have this condition, or you are curious about sleep apnea and want to learn more about it, please give us here at David Crumpton, DDS a call at 817-678-7395 today!