What Happens When Sleep Apnea Goes Untreated?
It's easy to pass off symptoms of sleep apnea, such as snoring, as just harmless and maybe a little annoying. But what's really happening is far more serious than just snoring. The word apnea means "without breath" in Greek. So, the snoring is just a symptom of a much more serious sleep disorder. The choking and gasping noises people may make when snoring is the result of the breathing pauses that happen when they sleep. These breathing pauses, in turn, are a result of the blockage of the airway when the throat muscles relax.
We always recommend that you get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, even if you think your symptoms are mild. Sleep apnea is not insignificant. It's not just snoring. It's a condition that can have life-threatening consequences if left undiagnosed and untreated.
Consequences of Leaving Sleep Apnea Untreated
To be more specific, leaving sleep apnea untreated can put you at risk of several serious health conditions that can include:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Frequent headaches
- Memory impairment
- Weight gain
The good news is that both the condition and the symptoms can be kept under control, and the sooner treatment is started the better. The first step is seeing a doctor to have a sleep study done. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you will likely be prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine. The problem with this treatment is that many patients find it uncomfortable and can't see themselves using the loud, bulky machine and mask nightly for the rest of their life. We offer oral appliance therapy for those with sleep apnea as an alternative.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Everett, Washington
If you feel like you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it makes sense to seek medical help right away. Don't endanger your well-being with untreated sleep apnea. Dr. Norman can help if you need effective sleep apnea treatment in Everett, Washington. For more inquiries, you can schedule a visit or contact the Dream Smile Team at 425-366-8296.