Most people know that snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea. In fact, snoring is often what leads those suffering from sleep apnea to seek treatment in the first place. But did you know that sleep apnea can also affect your health? Dr. Caracioni sees many patients who suffer from this disorder, and she’s quick to outline the potential health problems they could encounter if the condition is left untreated.
Sleep apnea is characterized by having one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping. Research shows that those who suffer from sleep apnea are at an increased risk for a number of health issues including hypertension and diabetes. The condition raises your heart rate and increases your blood pressure which in turn places added stress on your heart. This increased blood pressure rate can lead to hypertension. Additionally, blood sugar levels of people with sleep apnea tend to be higher. The levels of certain chemicals in the blood that causes inflammation can impact blood sugar, causing an unsafe spike.
But hypertension and diabetes aren’t the only possible health complications associated with sleep apnea. According to a study conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles, sleep apnea may damage the brain cells associated with memory. The drop in oxygen levels caused by sleep apnea can cause brain damage in the mammillary bodies, the part of the brain that is responsible for short-term memory storage.
While sleep apnea is a serious condition, they are treatment options available. Our office offers a treatment called a mandibular advancement device (MAD), which is an FDA -approved oral orthotic therapy that keeps the tongue below the airway and provides airway space to reduce apnea episodes. If you suffer from sleep apnea and feel this might be the right solution for you, contact our office at 785-783-0741 to schedule a consultation.