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Should I be worried about sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is more than just an annoyance. It can also affect your health in a number of negative ways. Take a look at the some of the common side effects of those that suffer from sleep apnea:

  • heart attacks or irregular heart beats
  • impotence
  • high blood pressure
  • stroke
  • heartburn
  • morning headaches
  • dry mouth
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • impaired concentration
  • depression
  • decreased libido
  • irritability
  • chronic sleepiness … periods of nodding off while on the phone or at work
  • learning or memory disabilities (children may be affected also).

Sleep apnea can also negatively impact your life in other ways. Sleep apnea patients are at a much greater risk of having auto accidents. Many apnea sufferers have had a decrease in job performance, leading to demotions and even job loss. Irritability and memory issues can lead to interpersonal problems with family and friends. And, of course, being sleepy all the time makes it difficult to participate in hobbies, social events, or other forms of recreation and relaxation.

Other contributing factors for sleep apnea other than snoring would be those that are also overweight, have high blood pressure and or some physical abnormality in the nose (deviated septums), throat, or other parts of the upper airway. Certain studies also indicated that this condition may also have a genetic link.

So should you be worried? The answer is yes! If you believe you may have sleep apnea, see your doctor to schedule a sleep study. And if you have already been diagnosed, contact our West Allis dental office to find out what treatments we offer to help.