Sleep Apnea FAQs
Understanding what sleep apnea is and why it occurs, is essential when seeking professional treatment. We believe that patient education is crucial in the process towards a healthy life. Here at Melvin H. Pearson DDS, PC, we want to make sure that our patients are well informed about sleep apnea and its contributing factors.
That is why we have created a list of the most frequently asked questions about sleep apnea. Our goal is to help our patients understand the ins and outs of the sleep disorder in order to provide more clarity and prepare them for treatment.
What Causes An Airway Obstruction?
There are various reasons for an obstructed airway. In fact, some may be simply be out of your control. Factors such as obesity and a genetic difference such as an enlarged neck, can cause an obstruction resulting in sleep apnea. An individual who lives with obesity often develops sleep apnea due to enlarged tissues in the throat or mouth.
What Increases Your Risk of OSA?
While some risks that increase your chances of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be genetic such as a narrow airways, family history, diabetes, and high blood pressure, others may come as a result of unhealthy habits. The habits include the constant use of tobacco and alcohol as well as poor weight management and lack of exercise.
What Should You Do If You Suspect You May Have Sleep Apnea?
If you think you or your partner is living with undiagnosed sleep apnea, getting an official diagnosis is extremely important. At our Staten Island dental office, Dr. Pearson works with local health professionals to get a sleep study completed and the results analyzed to help patients get a diagnosis as soon as possible.
Can Sleep Apnea Go Away Without Treatment?
Unfortunately, sleep apnea will not miraculously disappear if you ignore it. It’s a serious condition that without treatment, can lead to a number of secondary health problems and even death. Getting proactive diagnosis and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is the best way to improve your quality of life and protect your overall health. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can also make a big and positive impact. If you’re suffering from obesity, implementing an exercise regimen and healthy diet into your daily routine can help you shed excess weight and decrease symptoms of sleep apnea. Additionally, refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol may also help lessen symptoms.
What Happens If I Don’t Treat My Sleep Apnea?
If sleep apnea treatment is neglected, there are serious and even deadly consequences that may ensue in the future as a result. In fact, sleep apnea has been related to:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack risk
- Irregular heartbeats
- Dry mouth
- Decreased libidio
- Inability to concentrate