What are the health risks of OSA?
OSA, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea, is a sleep disorder characterised by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep due to the partial or complete obstruction of the airway. Some of the health risks associated with OSA include:
Daytime sleepiness and fatigue: The interruptions in breathing can lead to fragmented sleep, causing excessive daytime sleepiness and reduced alertness, which can increase the risk of accidents and impair cognitive function.
Cardiovascular problems: OSA is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, and irregular heart rhythms. The repeated drops in blood oxygen levels during apnea episodes strain the cardiovascular system.
Metabolic disorders: OSA is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Sleep disruptions can affect the body’s regulation of glucose and appetite hormones, leading to metabolic imbalances.
Mental health issues: OSA has been linked to an increased risk of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Chronic sleep disruption and oxygen deprivation can negatively impact mental well-being.
Decreased quality of life: OSA can significantly impair overall quality of life. It can lead to decreased productivity, impaired concentration, irritability, and relationship problems due to disrupted sleep patterns and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Increased risk of accidents: Excessive daytime sleepiness caused by OSA can increase the likelihood of accidents at work or while driving, putting individuals and others at risk.
It is important to seek medical evaluation and treatment if you suspect you have OSA to mitigate these health risks.
Who typically experiences OSA?
OSA, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea, can affect individuals of all ages, including children, but certain factors increase the likelihood of experiencing this sleep disorder. Here are some common factors associated with OSA:
Overweight or obesity: Excess weight, particularly in the neck and upper body, can contribute to the narrowing of the airway and increase the risk of OSA.
Age: OSA can occur at any age, but it becomes more prevalent as individuals get older, especially after the age of 40.
Gender: Men are more commonly affected by OSA than women, although the risk for women increases after menopause.
Family history: There is a genetic component to OSA, so having family members with the condition increases the likelihood of developing it.
Anatomical factors: Certain physical characteristics, such as having a thick neck, narrow airway, large tonsils, or a deviated septum, can contribute to the obstruction of the airway during sleep.
Smoking and alcohol use: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of OSA by relaxing the muscles in the throat and interfering with normal breathing patterns during sleep.
Medical conditions: OSA is more prevalent among individuals with certain medical conditions, including hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, heart disease, chronic nasal congestion, and asthma.
It’s important to note that while these factors increase the risk of OSA, anyone can develop the condition, even without these risk factors. If you suspect you have OSA or are experiencing symptoms such as loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, or gasping for air during sleep, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Download the Health Risks of OSA provided by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and if you suspect you may have sleep apnea , talk to us at the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic about diagnosis and treatment options. We can help determine the best course of action based on your individual case.
About the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic
Located in the Beacon Consultants Clinic in Sandyford, our facility collaborates with major hospital sleep disorder clinics and other specialists and have been active in the development and use of oral sleep appliances in the area of Dental Sleep Medicine in Ireland over many years.
We utilise a range of new technologies and treatment approaches. These include the use of customised digitally fabricated oral devices with specific sensor technology use to enable monitoring for ongoing evaluation.
As a result, the clinic has been successful in assisting many patients, and oftentimes also importantly, their sleep disrupted partners, in achieving more optimal and healthy sleep experiences.
To book an appointment with the Beacon Dental Clinic, click here
Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic is based in the Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Dublin, D18 E7P4, Ireland
Tel: +353 01 5310088| Fax: +353 1 213 5645 | Email: email@example.com