It's Not Just Snoring: Understanding the Dangers of Sleep Apnea

We live in a fast-paced world, where we currently average a measly total of 6.8 hours of sleep a night, and 40% of Americans get less than 6 hours. So, it’s no wonder that 50-70 million U.S. adults have a sleeping disorder, and sleep apnea is the most prevalent, with 22 million diagnosed. 

That’s why at Madison Square Dentistry, Dr. Lawrence Wang and his team have compiled this helpful guide to keep you informed on sleep apnea and how it can lead to a host of serious illnesses. 

Finding out if you have sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where your airway is so obstructed that you have trouble breathing or even stop breathing altogether. Here are some common symptoms of sleep apnea:

You’ll also want to be aware of the risk factors for sleep apnea. While it’s important to note that sleep apnea can impact everyone, even children, there are still some factors that place you at a higher risk for developing sleep apnea, including:

The dangers of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a pretty serious illness on its own. But, what makes it really dangerous is its tendency to place you at risk for a host of other chronic conditions. These can include the following. 

Heart problems and high blood pressure

Sleep apnea stresses your heart to levels that are dangerous. This is due to the trouble breathing or stops in your breathing, that drop your blood oxygen levels, straining your cardiovascular system and increasing your risk for high blood pressure (hypertension) in the process. This also places you at an increased risk of having a heart attack.

Type 2 diabetes and liver disease

Sleep apnea places you at a higher risk for developing insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes as a result. Your liver also becomes damaged in the process, leading to scarring, abnormally high liver test results, and fatty liver disease.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a possible complication of sleep apnea. This is a chronic illness that is characterized by erratic cholesterol, high blood pressure, increased fat in your abdominal and hip area, and an increased risk of heart disease. 

Treat sleep apnea today

If you think you may have sleep apnea, you’ll want to get treatment quickly, because of its high chance of leading to other chronic conditions. Call us or make an appointment right on our website. 

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