Obstructive sleep apnea can do more than just make you snore. In fact, this condition can lead to long-term health issues if you leave it untreated long enough. These issues include, but are not limited to, weight issues, digestive problems, and even high blood pressure and problems with people who suffer from heart disease.
There are a number of theories as to the link between sleep apnea and high blood pressure. Some experts think that the stress of partially waking several times each night contributes to blood pressure. Others point to hormone levels that get out of balance when you suffer from sleep apnea.
Whatever the exact mechanism, there is a connection between obstructive sleep apnea and high blood pressure. In turn, as you know, high blood pressure can contribute to a number of health problems—some of them quite dangerous.
In addition, if you have heart issues, the sleep apnea can literally kill you: people with sleep apnea are more likely to die from a heart attack in their sleep than those without it. The brain, deprived of oxygen due to the apnea, has a hard time regulating blood flow. The result can be deadly.
Aside from cardiac issues, obstructive sleep apnea sufferers are more likely to be overweight. This, in itself, can cause a number of health issues, some of them dangerous.
In addition, obstructive sleep apnea seems to contribute to acid reflux due to the abnormal movement of air through the throat. The good news is that, as someone begins to lose weight, the sleep apnea and acid reflux very frequently decrease in severity.
Here at Carolina Dental Sleep Center, we want you to be educated as to this issue. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!