The Importance of Treating Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is becoming one of the most common health issues in the United States with an estimated 22 million people suffering from this serious sleep disorder. 

Unfortunately, around 80% of those suffering from sleep apnea never seek or receive the treatment they need to manage their symptoms and avoid potential health risks. 

At the Oral Facial Surgery Specialists at the Woodlands, we know that sleep apnea is much more than severe snoring or sleep disruption. That’s why Dr. Oscar Muñiz, Dr. Cesar Guerrero, and our team make treating your sleep apnea a key part of our care. 

Here’s what you need to know about this condition and what could happen if you don’t get treatment.

An overview of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which your breathing stops and starts while you’re sleeping. This can result in loud snoring at night and leave you feeling tired during the day even if you’ve had a full night of sleep. 

You might also notice other symptoms like: 

There are three main types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. 

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, closing your airways and stopping your breathing. Central sleep apnea stems from a neurological error in which your brain fails to send signals to your breathing muscles. 

Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central. 

Factors that increase your risk of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea can affect anyone, but there are a few factors that increase your risk, including:

Excessive consumption of alcohol, certain sedatives, and chronic nasal congestion also affect your likelihood of developing sleep apnea.

Complications from sleep apnea

You can handle a little snoring and some daytime grogginess, right? That might be true, but letting your sleep apnea go untreated can result in serious health conditions. Here are just a few of the reasons why treating your sleep apnea is so important.

It affects your cardiovascular health

When your breathing stops, you experience a sharp, sudden drop in blood oxygen levels. This increases your blood pressure and puts inordinate stress on your cardiovascular system. 

Not only does sleep apnea affect your blood pressure, but it also puts you at risk for other cardiovascular issues, including heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heartbeat.

You could develop diabetes

The disruptive nature of sleep apnea also affects your body’s ability to process insulin, leaving you vulnerable to developing Type 2 diabetes.

It affects your future medical care

When you suffer from breathing problems related to sleep apnea, you’re more likely to experience complications during major surgeries that involve sedation with anesthesia.

Your liver is vulnerable

People with sleep apnea have been found to have abnormal liver function tests and signs of scarring on their liver. 

Treating your sleep apnea

We offer a few treatment options to accommodate your unique needs. We begin with a thorough examination of your symptoms and medical history. After we determine which kind of sleep apnea you have, we create your custom treatment plan. 

Depending on your needs, we might recommend the following treatments:

We help you decide exactly which treatment you need to effectively manage your symptoms and avoid any potentially serious complications.

If you’re ready to take the steps necessary to protect your health, call our friendly staff or request an appointment online.

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