What happens if my sleep apnea is left untreated?

Posted Sep 6th, 2019

What happens if my sleep apnea is left untreated?

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you experience pauses in your breathing while you're sleeping; in fact, you’re actually having short bouts of suffocation. This condition can lead to a wide range of serious health problems if left untreated. Here, our Surrey dentists explain more.


Physical Health

A wide range of physical health problems have been linked to sleep apnea including an increased risk for conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, irregular heartbeat, stroke and heart attack.

Mental Health

Those who suffer from sleep apnea frequently wake in the night due to the pauses in breathing. These short periods of wakefulness mean that sufferers don’t get the amount or quality of sleep they require. A higher risk of depression and anxiety are both linked to insufficient sleep, and indeed, studies show that those who have sleep apnea are more likely than the general population to experience these mental health issues.

Quality of Life

Significant negative impacts on daily life can be caused by the lack of sleep caused by sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea often have trouble concentrating on tasks and feel exhausted, short tempered and listless.

Sleep apnea can negatively affect patients’ relationships as well. Often the sleep partners of people suffering from the condition are also getting insufficient sleep due in large part to the snoring that often results from sleep apnea.

Memory

Serious memory problems can be another side effect of sleep apnea due to both the lack of sleep and lack of oxygen to the brain that sleep apnea entails.

In fact, sleep apnea has actually been linked to a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that people with sleep disordered breathing (like sleep apnea) experience earlier onset of mild cognitive impairment compared to the general population. That means that the forgetfulness associated with old age begins earlier in life for people suffering from conditions such as sleep apnea.

If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, do yourself and your family favour, and get yourself assessed.

The dentists at Surdel Dental Centre in Surrey are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. Please contact our office today to book an assessment appointment.