While snoring is often a sign of sleep apnea, it is not the same thing as sleep apnea. Snoring happens when the soft oral tissues of the mouth and throat vibrate. Sleep apnea is when the airways close or a patient briefly stops breathing while they are asleep. This condition is serious, and it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
One of the systems sleep apnea affects is your circulatory system. This includes the heart, lungs, arteries, airways, veins and other organs that transport blood and oxygen throughout your body. While asleep, your breathing should slow, and your blood pressure should decrease. However, a patient with sleep apnea is not getting enough oxygen into their bloodstream. This causes the heart to work harder rather than rest. Over time, this increases overall blood pressure, risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
It can also start to affect your respiratory system, which includes your lungs, nasal cavity and trachea. Sleep apnea sufferers may notice an increase in respiratory problems such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Weight gain is also another common result of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can slow down metabolism and causes the body to retain ghrelin. Sleeplessness and fatigue can also decrease energy and make it more difficult for patients to exercise.
If you are looking for a way to treat your sleep apnea in Staten Island, New York, contact Staten Island Dental Sleep Health at 718-948-5100. You can meet with our sleep dentist, Dr. Mel Pearson, and determine how to approach your symptoms.