Reception Area at Sleep Apnea Dentists of New England

What Are The Health Risks If Left Untreated?

Please note: if you snore, you may not have sleep apnea and if you have sleep apnea you may not snore! 

Simple Snoring Without Sleep Apnea

You could be making your sleep partner sick! General lack of sleep and sleep interruption can create a great deal of health problems for your spouse. This can also create tension in the bedroom. 

Research has shown that people who snore may be at an even greater risk for having thickening or abnormalities in the carotid arteries – blood vessels responsible for carrying blood and oxygen to your brain.  This is a precursor to atherosclerosis, a “hardening” of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is responsible for many vascular diseases. Most likely due to the trauma and subsequent inflammation caused by the vibrations from snoring.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea essentially forces your body into repetitive episodes of “fight or flight” all night long to open your airway and keep you alive.  This can create a great deal of stress on your body.

Studies have shown that people with OSA Obstructive Sleep Apnea are at a higher risk for the following health complications:

  • Daytime fatigue
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Heart rhythm disturbances
  • Heart attack
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Increased cancer risk in women
  • Insulin resistance
  • Increased mortality rate
  • Sudden death
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  •  Memory loss
  • Morning headaches
  •  Metabolic syndrome
  •  Liver problems
  •  Chronic kidney disease

Not everyone with OSA will experience any or all of these. Untreated OSA places you at higher risk, depending on the severity of your apnea and associated levels of oxygen deprivation.