Is sleep apnea keeping you up at night? Although this condition is best known for disrupting sleep patterns, it also effects more than just your sleep quality. Sleep apnea if left untreated, can impact your overall health and worsen any medical conditions you already have. To learn more about the conditions that are linked to sleep apnea and its side effects, read on.
Increases Your Risk Of High Blood Pressure
When you stop breathing during the night with sleep apnea, it causes your body to produce stress hormones. This drop in oxygen and change in hormone levels can result in a sharp increase in your blood pressure. And for those who already have high blood pressure, sleep apnea can make the condition even worse.
Impacts Your Concentration
Poor sleep quality can also make it incredibly difficult to remember information and concentrate. And when you’re exhausted and groggy from losing sleep, you’re more likely to make mistakes and cause accidents.
Makes It Hard For Your Brain To Control Blood Flow
When you have sleep apnea, your body struggles to take in more oxygen which impacts the ability of blood to flow to your arteries. If not treated, this can lead to a number of health issues such as atrial fibrillation and heart problems, which is why people who have sleep apnea are also more at risk of heart attacks, heart disease, and stroke.
Prevents Your Body From Using Insulin Properly
Diabetes and sleep problems go hand in hand, which is why those with diabetes are especially susceptible to having sleep apnea and vice versa. In fact, sleep loss resembles insulin resistance where cells fail to use the hormone efficiently, causing high blood sugar levels to build in the body which can harm the kidneys, heart, and other organs.
Causes Painful Acid Reflux
Sleep apnea has also been associated with painful acid reflux syndrome. In recent studies, scientists have found that obstructive sleep apnea can result in airway pressure changes leading to reflux. In instances where this has occurred, the reflux has entered the esophagus as the person continuously gasps for air.
Damages Your Teeth
One of the first signs of sleep apnea is tooth grinding. As you tense your jaw and grind your teeth it sends messages to your brain to wake up and breath. This consistent grinding can lead to chips and damage as well as receding gums and infection.
At Rockcliffe Dental, we take your dental health seriously and can help determine any underlying health conditions like sleep apnea. If we suspect you’re experiencing any associated problems like tooth grinding, we’ll recommend treatment right away to help you get relief.