If your spouse tells you that you snore really bad and if you always feel tired and unrested, there is a chance you may have a condition known as sleep apnea. This is a condition your doctor or dentist can talk to you about, and it is something you should get treated. Untreated sleep apnea can put you at risk for health problems, primarily with your heart, and here are a few things to understand about this.
Why It Leads To Health Problems
The main reason sleep apnea is dangerous is from the way it causes people to stop breathing while they are asleep. If you have sleep apnea, the muscles and tissue in your throat relax to a point where air cannot get through. Each time this happens, you will momentarily stop breathing. This can occur around 15 times per hour in mild cases, but it can occur even more with severe cases of sleep apnea.
Once your brain detects that you are not breathing, it will instantly send a message to your heart, and this message will cause your heart to pump harder. As your heart pumps harder each time you stop breathing, you are putting it at risk. This extra work is hard on your heart, and it can eventually lead to heart disease, stroke, or heart attack.
There Is An Easy Solution
If you want to stay healthy and alert and reduce your risks of developing heart problems, you should find out if you have sleep apnea and have it treated. To find out if you have this, your dentist may suggest having a sleep study conducted. This will require spending the night at a facility, but you will only need to do this once.
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you can often treat it in one of two ways. The first way is by wearing a mouth guard while you sleep. The purpose of this is to keep the air passage open while you are asleep. The second common method for treating this is with a CPAP machine. This is a machine you will use at night that forces air into your nose. It will help you stay breathing all night, and this will greatly reduce your risks of developing health problems from sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is not something to ignore. If you believe you might have this, visit a professional like those found at Jerry C Hu DDS Family Dentistry LLC today to find out more about it.