What Happens When You Ignore Sleep Apnea?

There are many different indications that you might have sleep apnea, and many of them reflect the damage that the condition can cause to your overall wellbeing. However, the sleep breathing disorder, which involves the cessation of your breathing while you sleep, might not always be obvious at first. Or, they may seem mild enough that ignoring them doesn’t seem like a big deal. At our Spring, TX, sleep dentist’s office, we can help you determine if you have sleep apnea and treat it. Otherwise, ignoring it could lead to the worsening of its symptoms and its effect on your quality of life.

The short-term effects of untreated OSA

  • Chronic snoring – When you have sleep apnea, your mouth or throat tissues collapse into your airway, causing you to snore loudly. The pattern of your snoring is distinct; it will grow louder and louder as your airway becomes more obstructed, then stop once it becomes completely blocked. After several moments, the cycle will repeat itself.
  • Daytime fatigue/exhaustion – Your body doesn’t take long to respond to a lack of oxygen. When it panics, it will wake slightly, just enough to clear the airway so you can start breathing again. This prevents you from reaching deep, restful sleep, and the longer it’s left untreated, the more frequently you’ll become exhausted during the day.
  • Waking up with headaches – When your breathing and sleep patterns are constantly interrupted throughout the night, your body receives less oxygen than it should and less sleep than it needs. One of the earliest warning signs of this deprivation is the chronic, increasingly more frequent occurrence of headaches and migraines, especially when you first wake up in the morning.

The long-term impacts on your wellbeing

While these early warning signs can have a serious impact on the quality of your daily life, ignoring sleep apnea in the long term can have even more serious, long-lasting effects on your health and wellbeing. For example, the consistent lack of oxygen and quality sleep can begin to wear down your cardiovascular system, leading to increased risks of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and more. It also impairs your body’s ability to fight off disease and illness, increasing your risks of falling ill in any number of ways.

Learn more by calling us today

If you think you have sleep apnea, then take our questionnaire and contact our office as soon as possible. To learn more, call Houston Sleep Solutions in Spring, TX, at (281) 320-2000, or in Pearland, TX, at (832) 564-3508.