Many people dismiss obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as nothing more than an annoyance because it causes snoring and tiredness. However, that thinking is woefully inaccurate. Not only can this condition have devastating consequences for your daily quality of life, but it could also lead to an early death! How might it do that, and how could sleep apnea treatment help you live longer? Read this blog post to discover some important information.
Sleep Apnea Can Be Deadly
People with OSA stop breathing multiple times each night. Those disruptions can place great stress on the body and increase the risk of a number of serious health conditions, including heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. OSA is also associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and it can make diabetes more difficult to manage.
On top of those things, the fatigue caused by OSA can be very dangerous. You may be much more likely to make mistakes while driving or doing other tasks that require a high level of alertness. You could easily get into an accident!
Sleep Apnea Is Sneaky
One thing that makes sleep apnea so dangerous is the fact that it often remains undiagnosed for too long. People tend dismiss symptoms like tiredness and snoring as nothing to be worried about. Therefore, they put off treatment for years or even decades. Throughout that time, their health may continue to decline to the point where they are at a significantly increased risk of facing a premature demise.
If you have been feeling unusually fatigued lately, you sometimes wake up gasping for air, or your partner has observed that you sometimes stop breathing at night, you should certainly see a doctor as soon as possible.
Treatment Can Help
The above information might seem a little scary, but there is encouraging news. In most cases, OSA is fairly easy to treat. For example, you might be a candidate for an oral appliance, a small device that gently repositions the lower jaw during sleep. By moving the jaw slightly forward, the appliance can help to keep your airway open and allow you to breathe throughout the night without disruption.
Just how helpful is OSA treatment? One study found that treatment with a CPAP machine (which uses pressurized air to prevent pauses in breathing) was linked to a 62% decrease in the odds of death over an 11-year period. It stands to reason that an oral appliance could offer similar benefits.
OSA can be deadly! Seek appropriate care so you can enjoy your life for as long as possible.
Meet the Practice
Under the leadership of Dr. Keane Fedosky, Sleep Rehab offers effective and comfortable oral appliance therapy for people struggling with OSA. If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, or you are looking for a reliable CPAP alternative, our team would be pleased to help you identify the next steps on your journey toward a healthier (and hopefully longer!) life. Contact our Plano office at 972-753-3737.