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How Sleep Apnea Can Impact Your Overall Health Malibu, CA

How Sleep Apnea Can Impact Your Overall Health

Man in bed suffering for sleep apnea syndrome

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. These pauses can last for seconds to minutes and may occur multiple times throughout the night. Sleep apnea can have a significant impact on overall health, affecting various systems and increasing the risk of several medical conditions. Understanding the potential consequences of untreated sleep apnea is essential for recognizing the importance of diagnosis and treatment.

1. Cardiovascular Health

Sleep apnea is strongly associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke. The repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep can lead to fluctuations in blood pressure and oxygen levels, placing strain on the cardiovascular system. Over time, untreated sleep apnea can contribute to the development or worsening of heart-related conditions, potentially leading to serious complications.

2. Metabolic Health

Sleep apnea has been linked to metabolic disturbances, such as insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and obesity. Disrupted sleep patterns and decreased oxygen levels can disrupt hormone regulation, leading to imbalances in appetite-regulating hormones and metabolism. Consequently, individuals with untreated sleep apnea may be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and experiencing difficulties in managing their weight.

3. Neurological Function

Sleep apnea can have adverse effects on cognitive function, mood and daytime alertness. Chronic sleep deprivation and fragmented sleep patterns associated with sleep apnea can impair memory, concentration, and decision-making abilities. Additionally, excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue can negatively impact mood, leading to irritability, depression and anxiety.

4. Respiratory Health

Sleep apnea can exacerbate pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The recurrent episodes of breathing cessation during sleep can trigger airway inflammation and exacerbate respiratory symptoms, leading to worsened disease control and decreased quality of life. Individuals with sleep apnea may also be at higher risk of developing respiratory infections and experiencing complications during anesthesia or surgery.

5. Quality of Life

Untreated sleep apnea can significantly impact the overall quality of life, leading to daytime sleepiness, fatigue and reduced productivity. Sleep disturbances caused by sleep apnea can disrupt relationships, impair social functioning and diminish overall well-being. Additionally, the chronic health problems associated with untreated sleep apnea can further diminish the quality of life and increase the burden of managing multiple medical conditions.

6. Increased Risk of Accidents

Sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents and workplace injuries due to impaired daytime alertness and cognitive function. Individuals with untreated sleep apnea may experience microsleep episodes or lapses in attention while performing tasks that require focus and concentration, such as driving or operating heavy machinery. Consequently, untreated sleep apnea poses a safety risk not only to the affected individual but also to others in their environment.

Sleep apnea can have a profound impact on overall health, affecting cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological, respiratory, and psychosocial well-being. Recognizing the potential consequences of untreated sleep apnea underscores the importance of seeking evaluation and treatment from a sleep apnea specialist such as Bob Perkins, DDS. Diagnosis and management of sleep apnea can improve sleep quality, alleviate symptoms and reduce the risk of associated health complications, ultimately enhancing overall health and quality of life. Contact our team at Southern California TMJ and Sleep Center for a sleep apnea treatment consultation to protect your health and quality of life.

Posted on behalf of Bob Perkins, DDS

24955 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste. C100
Malibu, CA 90265

Phone: (310) 456-5700