When you’re first diagnosed with sleep apnea, you’ll likely start noticing just how tired you feel in the morning and how irritated your partner is by your loud snoring. Although you might be tempted to ignore it for now, putting off needed sleep apnea treatment in Arlington Heights can have serious consequences. A recent study even suggests that untreated sleep apnea can make you age more rapidly. Read on to learn more about this connection and how you can protect yourself.
Does Sleep Apnea Make You Age More Quickly?
Your “biological age” doesn’t necessarily match up with your actual age. Your cells might age at different rates based on various medical conditions, such as sleep apnea. A 2019 study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that severe cases of sleep apnea are often associated with more rapid aging.
The Health Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Not only can sleep apnea negatively affect your appearance, but it can also contribute to various other health problems. When your airway is repeatedly obstructed throughout the night, you may also experience:
- Memory loss, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues
- A weakened immune system that increases the risk of severe infection
- An elevated risk of high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and other cardiovascular problems
- Higher blood glucose levels that can contribute to type 2 diabetes (and make diabetes more challenging to manage if you already have it)
- Reduced blood oxygen levels
Luckily, the effects of accelerated aging are reversible, and the other sleep apnea symptoms can be treated.
Treating & Managing Sleep Apnea
The first step in getting sleep apnea treatment in Arlington Heights is contacting a sleep dentist. If you have not yet been properly diagnosed, they may recommend a home sleep study in order to confirm your condition. From there, they will most likely be able to give you a custom oral appliance to keep your airway open during the night and prevent the harmful effects of sleep apnea. This option is much more comfortable and convenient than the traditional CPAP machine.
Additionally, there are some changes you can make to improve the quality of your sleep, such as:
- Sleeping on your side (instead of your back) to keep your airway clear
- Abstaining from smoking or using other tobacco products
- Avoiding alcohol and other sedatives for at least four hours before bed
Are you ready to start looking younger and feeling well-rested when you wake up? Then give your local sleep dentist a call!
About the Author
Dr. Brian Zulawinski is a highly trained sleep dentist in Arlington Heights, IL and a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. Since graduating from the Indiana University School of Dentistry in 2000, he has completed hundreds of hours of continuing education courses, much of it focusing on sleep apnea therapy. He can provide personalized oral appliance therapy to help you achieve a good night’s sleep. To get started, you can reach Dr. Zulawinski via his website or by phone at (847) 253-7477.