The Julian Center for Comprehensive Dentistry
5012 Dorsey Hall Drive, Suite #205
Ellicott City, Maryland 21042
(410) 964-3118
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How does sleep apnea affect my health?
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Risk Factors: How does sleep apnea affect my health?

Sleep apnea puts strain on the heart, deprives the brain of oxygen and denies you the quality, restorative sleep you need because its effects reduce blood oxygen levels and interrupt REM sleep (the deep, restorative sleep cycle). Other problems stemming from sleep apnea can include:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Learning and memory difficulties
  • Increased risk of accident from falling asleep while driving
  • High blood pressure
  • Early Dimentia
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Infections (decreased immune function)
  • More frequent colds and flu
  • Heart attack, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia and stroke.

Risk for heart attack and stroke may also increase along with an overall increase in risk for premature death. (It has been estimated that up to 50% of sleep apnea sufferers have high blood pressure.)

Risk factors include a family history of sleep apnea, excess weight, large neck, recessed chin or known abnormalities in the upper airway, smoking and alcohol use.

If you are a Howard County resident and are suffering from some or all of the sleep apnea risk factors listed above call now to talk to our Sleep Program Coordinator to schedule your in home sleep study and consultation.