What are the Long-Term Health Consequences of Sleep Apnea?

Depew Dentist Near Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Lancaster & Orchard Park

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition marked by periods of not breathing while you sleep. These periods may last for 10 or more seconds and are often accompanied by loud choking or gasping noises when breath resumes. In between these periods of not-breathing, people who struggle with sleep apnea may experience loud snoring and it is not uncommon for those who struggle with OSA to wake with a dry mouth, sore throat, and feeling like they haven’t gotten enough rest.

Symptoms of OSA

In addition to snoring, episodes of breathing cessation, dry mouth, sore throat, and feeling unrested, symptoms of OSA include:

  • Difficulties staying asleep
  • Excessive daytime fatigue
  • An inability to focus or pay attention
  • General irritability

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to see a sleep doctor who can diagnose the condition. Swift treatment is the best defense against long-term consequences.

The Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to many serious emotional and physical disorders. These include:

  • Cognitive decline
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Type II diabetes

People who struggle with OSA are four times more likely to die prematurely due to cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and metabolic syndrome disorders. They may experience wild mood swings, become incapable of staying awake while performing important tasks like driving, and struggle with memory and concentration problems. If you suffer from any of the symptoms of OSA, diagnosis and treatment are essential for helping to reduce your risks for these more serious – and sometimes fatal consequences.

Treating OSA

One of the most common treatments for OSA is a customized oral device that helps to keep airways open while preventing the collapse of soft tissue in the mouth. These devices help to restore a restful slumber and prevent the more serious consequences of sleep apnea.

It is important to note that oral devices are only effective for OSA, they cannot treat other types of sleep apnea.

To learn more about safe and effective sleep apnea treatments, please call Forestream Dental at 716-656-8686 and schedule a consultation today. Located in Depew, we welcome patients from Buffalo, Orchard Park, and all surrounding areas of New York.