April 19, 2018
According to one estimate, up to 22 million Americans have sleep apnea. What is even more troubling is that an estimated 80 percent of moderate and severe cases of this disorder are undiagnosed! Some people may not think this is a big deal because they reason that sleep apnea just makes you tired. However, such thinking is dangerous. Ignoring the risks that come with sleep apnea could cause a person to develop severe health issues — it could even lead to death. That’s why your holistic dentist in Sunnyvale is here to warn you about some of the problems associated with sleep apnea.
Stroke and Heart Disease
Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. While there are quite a few lifestyle and genetic factors that can contribute to these problems, sleep apnea independently increases the risk for these issues, regardless of a person’s race, weight, and daily habits. In fact, studies have shown that up to 70 percent of stroke patients have a sleep disorder. The reason behind this startling connection may be that sleep apnea decreases blood flow to the brain and increases blood pressure.
A large study from 2014 sought to investigate the link between type two diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The researchers found that:
- Patients with severe OSA were 30 percent more likely to develop type two diabetes than patients without OSA.
- Patients with mild or moderate OSA had a 23 percent higher risk of developing type two diabetes.
Some people may believe that the prevalence of diabetes among OSA suffers is because both conditions have common risk factors, such as obesity. However, the study accounted for such risk factors and still found that there is a definite and independent connection between the severity of a person’s OSA and their chances of becoming diabetic.
The link between OSA and cancer has only come to light in the past few years and requires further research. However, it is worth noting that a 2016 study discovered that the risk for pancreatic and kidney cancer is much higher in patients with severe OSA. An earlier study, performed by researchers in Spain, uncovered that patients with severe sleep apnea had a 65 percent higher risk of developing any type of cancer.
The Importance of Sleep Apnea Treatment
Cleary, sleep apnea does more than cause chronic drowsiness. It can lead to a host of serious health problems if it isn’t treated properly. That’s why we encourage everyone who even suspects that they may have OSA to get tested for it. In our office, we use advanced technology — pharyngometry and rhinometry — that harnesses the power of sound to measure airflow through a patient’s nose or throat. These tools aid in the diagnosis and treatment of OSA and can help patients get back to breathing easy at night.
Sleep apnea treatment has the potential to do a lot more than just help you feel well-rested. It could even save your life!
About the Dentist
Dr. William Langston is your holistic dentist in Sunnyvale. He is proud to offer sleep apnea therapy for Dallas patients, so if you’ve recently been diagnosed with OSA or you suspect that your nightly shuteye isn’t what it should be, please contact us at 972-270-6533.
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