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Sleep Apnea effects

Sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is a serious medical condition that affects one in five adults, though children are also susceptible to this sleep disorder.

When you have OSA, the muscles in your throat relax so much while you are asleep that they block your airway. Many people awake clutching their chests and gasping for air. These obstructed episodes can happen hundreds of time a night and can last 10 to 30 seconds, or more in severe cases.

Failure to treat sleep apnea can lead to severe mental stress and other health problems including:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Memory loss
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD)

Constantly being deprived of sleep and oxygen will wear heavily on your heart, lungs and overall mental state. Certain hormone levels may become imbalanced and sometimes stop functioning, disrupting your daily life.

Sleep apnea not only affects you and your body but also your loved ones. Erratic behavior and/or mood swings can cause friction in relationships. Constant loud snoring may disrupt sleep cycles and annoy those closest to you, causing them to sleep in separate rooms. Sleep apnea has also been connected to job-related accidents and traffic accidents.

Fortunately, there are treatments available for OSA and other types of sleep apnea. One popular and effective option is a sleep apnea/snoring appliance. Please see our Sleep Apnea/Snoring Appliance Questions page for more information on this device and how it works.

If you would like to learn about treatment options for sleep apnea, please contact the Calgary, Alberta, dentists at Southcentre Dental Clinic for a consultation.

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