Understanding the Health Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Though sleep apnea treatments are becoming more prolific and varied, the condition itself is still misunderstood. When patients have sleep apnea, it should not be left untreated. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to several problems, including high blood pressure and heart attacks. Fortunately, your dentist offering TMJ treatment and cosmetic dentistry can help you sleep easy when you have sleep apnea. Let’s take a look at the many health risks that may occur in patients with untreated sleep apnea in Alpharetta. sleep - apnea

Increased Blood Pressure

When patients experience sleep apnea, their bodies become stressed. This stress can occur throughout the night and day, because their brain and body has received less oxygen. As their bodies become more stressed, blood pressure begins to rise. Increased blood pressure can damage the arteries over an extended period of time, causing areas where plaque can build up. As this plaque builds up—and the high blood pressure and sleep apnea continue untreated—patients are at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke, vision loss, and kidney failure.

Car Accidents

Even if patients do not think they are waking up through the night, their sleep cycle is being interrupted by sleep apnea. With these multiple interruptions damaging their overall sleep, patients will often experience grogginess and extreme fatigue throughout their day. This tiredness can lead to several dangers, including an increased risk of car accidents. Tiredness leads to slower reaction times and a greater chance of making a mistake; both of these possibilities can lead to a dangerous car accident.

Cardiovascular Issues

Due to the increased blood pressure and strain on the body from lack of oxygen, increased risk of cardiovascular issues has been linked to untreated sleep apnea. In a study followed by the Harvard Medical School , it was found that “cardiovascular trouble was three times more likely in men with severe untreated sleep apnea than it was in men with treated sleep apnea.” The longer that sleep apnea goes untreated, then the likelier that both men and women could suffer from a heart attack or other cardiovascular diseases.
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