February 16, 2016
Sleep apnea is a fairly common condition that causes a person to stop breathing periodically while they sleep. Apnea is a very serious condition that has potentially deadly results due to the lack of oxygen, even though the interruptions in breathing typically only last a few seconds. When left untreated, apnea can produce long-term consequences on your health, such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Not only does apnea impact your health negatively, but it also harms your overall quality of life.
What is Sleep Apnea?
The most common form of apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat are unable to stay open, causing the airway to become restricted. As a result, there are interruptions in breathing, which last at least 10 seconds. This often causes sleep to become fragmented due to the low oxygen levels. The combination of poor sleep quality and lack of oxygen can produce a wide range of health complications while seriously impacting your ability to function throughout the day.
Impacts of Sleep Apnea
Although apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders, the American Sleep Apnea Association estimates 80 percent of apnea patients are not yet diagnosed. As a result, there’s a very real possibility that your decreased ability to remain productive throughout the day could be the result of apnea. Apnea not only impacts how you sleep at night, but how you feel during the day.
REM sleep is critical to our ability to learn and our ability to perform throughout the day. According to a 2014 study, those who have impaired REM sleep have impaired memory and difficulty performing tasks that are fairly simple. Motor skills and processing speeds are greatly impacted by the lower levels of oxygen, causing neurological functions and quality of life to decrease.
The fatigue directly impacts your mood, memory, and cognition ability, causing your productivity to suffer. In fact, a 2010 study found that the daytime fatigue is directly responsible for poor work productivity in apnea patients. The drowsiness and increased sense of distraction doesn’t just impact work. In fact, research shows untreated sleep apnea can also cause drowsiness while driving, increasing the risk for accidents.
Treating Sleep Apnea
The best way to reduce the side effects of sleep apnea to improve your overall quality of life is to treat the condition. Apnea is easily treatable using a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine is a device that is worn while you sleep, which uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open. As a result, there is less interruption in breathing at night, allowing the body to be well rested as you maintain proper oxygen levels. This won’t just increase your ability to function properly throughout the day, but you’ll reduce your risk for serious heath complications down the road.
At James Block Dentistry, we offer treatment for sleep apnea with treatment solutions using a CPAP machine. We’re committed to helping you get a restful night’s sleep. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options for apnea.
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