Sleep Apnea Risk Omaha

Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Since most people with sleep apnea don’t know they have it, they also don’t know how much it affects their quality of life. Sleep apnea robs you of your energy, and it can cause numerous health problems that can not only impair your quality of life but also steal years of your life, not to mention the expense and time wasted to care for conditions that might be preventable. And sleep apnea can interfere with the meaningful relationships that make life worth living.

But you don’t have to live with these consequences of sleep apnea. It is treatable, and treatment can help you live your life to the fullest. Please call (402) 493-4175, use our online form to request a callback or book an appointment online with the Omaha sleep dentists at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.

Metabolic Disorders Associated with Sleep Apnea

Your body performs many critical metabolic tasks during sleep. When sleep is interrupted, you may see an increased risk for:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity, including unexplained weight gain and inability to lose weight
  • Cancer

Sleep apnea can make it harder to address chronic health conditions that lead to early death. It is more difficult to control your blood sugar when you have sleep apnea. It’s also harder to maintain a healthy weight. Sleep disruption makes your body more likely to store food as fat and makes you more likely to want sugary and fatty treats. Plus, sleep apnea can disrupt your ability to exercise effectively. As a result, weight gain is typical for people with sleep apnea.

The link between sleep apnea and cancer isn’t as strong as some conditions. However, chronic systemic inflammation, weakened immune systems, and other impacts of disrupted sleep increase your risk of developing cancer.

Mental Health Disorders Associated with Sleep Apnea

Your brain needs sleep to perform essential tasks, including waste removal, memory consolidation, and more. Without good sleep, you’re at elevated risk for:

  • Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • Sexual dysfunction

Alzheimer’s disease seems to be linked at least partly to the brain’s inability to remove waste during sleep. This may be the main reason why sleep apnea increases dementia risk.

When you are tired all day, you can experience cognitive problems, including memory loss and difficulty concentrating. These can also increase your risk of accidents at work or while driving.

Without adequate sleep, you may experience depression, irritability, anxiety, and mood swings. Many people diagnosed with depression might benefit from sleep apnea treatment and antidepressants.

In addition to increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction, sleep apnea can impact the emotional and psychological aspects of sexual relationships. People may experience reduced desire and lower sexual pleasure if they have sleep apnea.

Other Health Risks Associated with Sleep Apnea

In addition, sleep apnea can impact other aspects of your health, putting you at risk for:

  • Bone loss
  • Vision loss
  • Weakened immune system
  • Acid reflux

Your body will eliminate more calcium with elevated blood pressure, possibly contributing to osteoporosis.

Numerous eye risks are linked to sleep apnea, from floppy eyelid syndrome to papilledema and nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). Several of these conditions can lead to sudden loss of vision.

Poor sleep can stress your immune system, making it less effective against infection and cancer.

Finally, people with sleep apnea are more likely to experience acid reflux at night, which can be painful and even more disruptive to sleep.

Overall Impact of Sleep Apnea on Health

These health conditions are dangerous, even deadly. That’s why people with sleep apnea have a 46% higher risk of premature death. Most often, cardiovascular conditions are the cause of death. However, other causes of early death include cancer, suicide, and car accidents related to falling asleep while driving.

In addition to the risk of early death, people with untreated sleep apnea spend thousands of dollars each year on healthcare and many more hours at the doctor. Meanwhile, they can experience a lower quality of life.

Maintain the Relationships That Matter to You

As bad as the health effects are, what often makes people look for sleep apnea treatment is how the condition can damage or even destroy important relationships in their lives.

Sleep apnea can cause conflict in intimate relationships, driving a wedge between spouses. Loud snoring is commonly associated with sleep apnea, one of the most common causes of conflict between spouses. Sleep apnea also makes conflicts over any subject escalate because people’s empathy and patience suffer when they’re not getting enough sleep. Mood disorders, sexual dysfunction, and a lack of interest can further increase conflict between spouses.

But our relationship with our kids can also suffer. We have little enough time to spend with our children–they grow up so fast!–but it’s hard to make the most of this time when our energy and interest are being sapped by sleep apnea. And we are more likely to snap at our kids when we sleep poorly.

Sleep apnea can even impair work relationships. Sleep apnea can make you less productive at work and more likely to doze off in the middle of a dull afternoon. Simultaneously, it can decrease your patience in dealing with all the annoyances we all have at the workplace.

How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?

With all the potential damage sleep apnea could be doing, it’s scary that 80% or more of people with sleep apnea don’t know they have it.

There is only one way to diagnose sleep apnea: a sleep test.  The good news is that sleep tests have become quite simple and are most often done in the comfort of your own home. Would you like to learn whether you have sleep apnea in Omaha? Please click here to learn more or call (402) 493-4175 today for an appointment with a sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.

Go to Top