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Ask a Dentist: How Can Sleep Apnea Negatively Affect Me?
When you have sleep apnea, you stop breathing many times throughout the night. When you stop breathing during the night, your brain sends signals to wake you up so you can start breathing again. However, this interruption can negatively affect your health by preventing you from having a good night’s rest. This can leave you feeling more tired than usual during the day. However, this does more to you than just make you feel sleepy.
Problems with the endocrine system
Individuals who have sleep apnea are more likely than others to develop resistance to insulin. In this condition, the body’s cells do not respond well to insulin. This means that the blood sugar levels of an individual can rise. This can make people with sleep apnea more likely to get type 2 diabetes.
Another issue with the endocrine system that sleep apnea can cause is metabolic syndrome. This can result in several risk factors for heart disease. The factors can include high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar levels, obesity and high blood pressure.
High blood pressure
For patients who already have high blood pressure, sleep apnea can worsen it. Waking up so often during the night can cause the body to feel more stressed. This causes the hormone system to work harder, producing more hormones that increase the blood pressure of the patient. When the level of oxygen in the patient’s blood drops, the problem can worsen.
Being sleepy during the day is more than a simple annoyance. It can also increase an individual’s risk for traffic accidents. People’s judgment is impaired when they are groggy. Also, an individual is less likely to react quickly to avoid potential hazards. People who operate vehicles or machinery for jobs such as truck drivers or in warehouses are at risk.
Weighing too much can increase an individual’s risk of having sleep apnea. Having sleep apnea can also make it more difficult to lose weight. Overweight individuals can have excess tissue in the neck that can block the airway during the night. When someone already has sleep apnea, the body can release more hormones that make the individual crave sweets and carbohydrates. Individuals who are constantly tired may find that it is more difficult to turn food into energy. Being tired all of the time also makes it difficult to get enough exercise to lose weight during the day.
Get sleep apnea help from a dentist
The good news is that sleep apnea is treatable. A doctor may recommend that you get a sleep study to determine if you might have sleep apnea. If you do not want to use a CPAP machine, there are many other options. One of these options includes a dental device. This can prevent the soft tissues in your mouth and throat from covering up your airway. A dentist can help you decide if an oral appliance for sleep apnea is right for you.
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