Surely, you have heard about the alleged dangers of sleep apnea, but the signs and symptoms seem as though they could easily apply to almost everyone on any given day. Who among us isn’t sleepy during the day? And, according to the news reports, everyone seems to be at risk for high blood pressure and heart problems. So, even if you suspect that your heavy nighttime snoring may be indicating a deeper concern, is it really necessary to schedule a consultation at an apnea clinic?
Whether you speak to your physician or your oral surgeon, you will find that the answer is “absolutely”. As sleep apnea refers to an interruption in your breathing while you are asleep, there are short- and long-term risks that simply shouldn’t be ignored.
If you have ever been awakened suddenly in the night, perhaps from a nightmare, then you can appreciate the rush of adrenaline and the quickening of the heartbeat that can make you feel almost faint. Physiologically, it’s the same reaction that your body experiences when the oxygen flow is interrupted as many as 100 times each night during a sleep apnea event. The surge of adrenaline causes a spike in blood pressure and a reduction in blood-oxygen. This can trigger a dangerously irregular heartbeat, known as arrhythmia, and a chronic heart problem can occur.
Furthermore, researchers believe that this fight-or-flight response can continue to affect you throughout the day, raising your resting blood pressure rate and flooding your body with adrenaline. After years of inadequate sleep, increased blood pressure, and internal stress, studies have shown a higher risk for fatal strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular illnesses.
In fact, researchers at the Mayo Clinic are indicating that sleep apnea sufferers are much more likely to suffer a sudden death while sleeping due to heart rhythm complications.
A great deal of these health problems can be eliminated or controlled when you seek an assessment from an apnea clinic and intervention from your oral surgeon if necessary. Investigate your options today by calling 312-328-9000 to schedule a consultation.