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The Dangerous Effects of Not Treating Your Sleep Apnea

March 18, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drbuck @ 12:34 pm
man suffering from sleep apnea in Clintonville

Sleep apnea in Clintonville is a prevalent sleep breathing disorder that denies people the typical benefits of a good night’s rest. The most common form of the condition is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which involves the throat muscles becoming too relaxed and partially blocking the airway to cause lapses in breathing. This is a serious condition that requires immediate attention, so what can happen when the symptoms are ignored? Continue reading to find out.

Typical Symptoms of OSA

Excessive weight gain, increased neck girth, alcohol consumption, tobacco usage and general unhealthy living can contribute to OSA and inhibit the natural flow of oxygen while you sleep. In addition to feeling tired and lethargic throughout the day, here are some of the common symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  • Memory loss
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Morning headaches or sore throat
  • Loud, constant snoring every night
  • Dramatic change in mood or behavior
  • Frequently waking and feeling out of breath

At the first notice of any of these warning signs, you should bring it to your primary care physician’s attention so you can undergo a sleep test.

What Happens if OSA is Ignored?

It’s not a good idea to dismiss the potential symptoms of OSA, as there can be a domino effect. For starters, the human body depends on receiving adequate rest to reset itself every 24 hours. It should also be noted that proper sleep is one of the primary means of healing and maintaining the body’s natural internal clock, which is called the circadian rhythm.

The disruption that OSA causes can trigger high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, weight gain and acid reflux. To make matters worse, the daytime grogginess associated with the condition increases the possibility of automobile accidents.

How OSA is Treated

The most common way of treating OSA is with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, which is a mask worn at night that forces air into the throat. However, many patients find this to be a difficult means of treatment. Thankfully, sleep dentists now offer custom oral appliances that shift the jaw to allow for better air flow.

For more severe cases, a specialist may recommend combined therapy, which involves using a CPAP machine (at a lower setting) and an oral appliance.

Because ignoring OSA could be life-threatening, it’s imperative to take heed to any of the warning signs. By taking the initiative to talk to your doctor and get the diagnosis process started, you can expeditiously receive any treatment you may need. With adequate sleep, you can look forward to enjoying a more functional and healthier life.

About the Author

Dr. Eric Buck earned his dental degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. He has received additional postgraduate training in treating sleep breathing disorders and maintains membership with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. Dr. Buck specializes in treating OSA at Creative Smiles, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.

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