It's Not Just Snoring: The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

You may think that sleep apnea is just a problem with snoring, but it’s actually a severe sleeping disorder. In fact, with sleep apnea, you experience periods where your breathing commonly stops while you’re sleeping. 

Sleep apnea is also a surprisingly common condition. There are 50-70 million adults in the U.S. who suffer from a sleeping disorder, and sleep apnea is among one of the most prevalent. Even worldwide, more than 100 million people suffer from sleep apnea.

At Oasis Smiles in Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California, your health is our top priority, and that’s why Dr. Sasha Bhor and her team are here to provide you with a comprehensive guide to how sleep apnea can affect you. 

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition where you have trouble with or stop breathing at night, snore loudly, and wake up feeling tired. You may also experience insomnia, irritability, trouble focusing, and you may even gasp for air while you’re asleep. Another indication of sleep apnea includes waking up with migraines and a dry mouth.

There are a couple of different risk factors for sleep apnea, including:

Despite these risk factors, sleep apnea still can affect anyone, including children. So it’s important to look out for the symptoms and to seek medical care right away.

Why is sleep apnea so dangerous?

What makes sleep apnea so troubling is its tendency to lead to other chronic conditions and illnesses, including:

Heart problems and high blood pressure

When your breathing stops or you have trouble breathing, you place a strain on your heart. This also leads to drops in blood oxygen levels, which places a strain on your cardiovascular system and increases your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension). 

Type 2 diabetes and liver problems

With sleep apnea comes an increased risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes as a result. Sleep apnea also places a strain on your liver, resulting in abnormal liver tests, scarring, and fatty liver disease. 

Metabolic syndrome

A complication of sleep apnea, this condition includes high blood pressure, erratic cholesterol levels, growing waist circumference, high blood sugar, and an increased risk of heart disease.

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you may have sleep apnea, and you’ll want to get treatment sooner rather than later. Call us or make an appointment right on our website. 

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