Dangerous Zzz’s: The Hidden Dangers of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

added on: October 22, 2019

If there’s one thing your Sheboygan holistic dentist will tell you it’s that you should never ignore your snoring. If you or someone in your house is “sawing logs” or “hitting a knot” all night long, it might be time to talk to someone about those issues.

Snoring is one of the most common side effects of something called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and it’s becoming more evident among patients across the United States. Sleepapnea.org suggests that sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, have become an enormous health problem in our country. They estimate that nearly 22 million Americans have sleep apnea, but 80 percent of these cases (both moderate and severe) go undiagnosed and untreated.

What is Sleep Apnea?

The more you learn about what happens to your body when you’ve got sleep apnea, the more startling it can be. The bottom line is that sleep apnea is when you involuntarily stop breathing during sleeping. OSA is the most common form of sleep apnea compared to central and mixed cases.

When you’ve got sleep apnea, there’s a good chance you snore throughout the night, every night. This is because your airway is blocked, causing you to stop breathing. Your body will combat this by jarring you awake (even though you might not know it) to get you breathing again. The wildest thing about all of this is that you might be waking up hundreds of times each night, and not even know it. Doesn’t that explain why you wake up feeling completely exhausted even after eight to ten hours of sleep? You kept waking up all night! 

Why is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?

The National Sleep Foundation says that sleep apnea is just about as common these days as a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Sleep apnea tends to appear more frequently among men, particularly those of African-American or Hispanic origin. Risk factors include:

– Being male

– Overweight

– Over the age of 40 

Sleep apnea doesn’t discriminate. It can occur at any age or stage of life, even kids. It’s usually accompanied by excessive daytime drowsiness, irritability, the inability to concentrate, dry mouth, insomnia, depression, and headaches.

Not breathing and waking up hundreds of times per night without knowing it, is kind of dangerous all on its own, but what makes sleep apnea even more dangerous is that all too often goes overlooked or misdiagnosed. If left untreated, sleep apnea has been linked to issues with:

– High blood pressure

– Weight gain

– Cardiovascular disease

– Stroke

– Memory problems

– Impotence or low sex drive

– Impairment at work or while driving

All of these issues are dangerous to you and those around you, so it’s important to talk to your holistic dentist in Sheboygan if you’re experiencing constant snoring and sleepiness.

How Can Dr. Korolewski Help Me Sleep Better?

Among his many other accreditations and accolades, Dr. Korolewski is now a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. He’s specially trained and highly skilled at silencing snoring and sleep apnea. He works closely with trusted sleep physicians to help provide you with a diagnosis so you can finally enjoy the comfortable, restful night’s sleep your body needs to be healthy. 

Dr. Korolewski can talk with you about your treatment options, including oral appliance therapy using a customized device similar to a mouthguard to help open up your obstructed airway. It’s worn only when you sleep. While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are usually the go-to solution for sleep apnea treatment, it doesn’t always work for everyone. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine suggests that nearly half of all sleep apnea patients give up on their CPAP out of discomfort or frustration.

Snoring can be more than just annoying for you and your bed partner. It can mean life or death. Talk to our holistic dental office in Sheboygan about how we can help you. Most medical insurance plans cover most forms of oral appliance therapy! Call us or drop us a line, online today. What have you got to lose except for yet another good night’s sleep?