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Dangers of Sleep Apnea – Stephens City, VA  

Understanding the Impact of this Common Sleep Disorder

Are you one of the estimated 22 million Americans that suffer from sleep apnea? If so, you may already be familiar with how sleep apnea can wear you down and leave you exhausted at work or in the classroom. What you may not realize, however, is the serious negative effects this sleep disorder can have on your overall health. From a heart attack to a stroke, sleep apnea can pose significant dangers to your health if left untreated.

Dr. Gromling is an active member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and has over 40 years of experience as a dental professional. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gromling at our office in Stephens City to get the treatment you need in order to achieve the rest and good health you deserve.

What Are the Health Risks Associated with Sleep Apnea?

Tired man with sleep apnea in Stephens City

The dangers of sleep apnea in Stephens City go well beyond the embarrassment of falling asleep during an important work meeting because you are feeling drowsy. Prolonged sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your overall health. Sleep apnea has been linked to all of the following negative health impacts:

  • High blood pressure – Waking up multiple times throughout the night can increase bodily stress and boost blood pressure.
  • Heart disease – Sleep apnea disrupts oxygen levels, which may increase the risk of a heart attack.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – Lack of adequate rest can prevent the body from using insulin properly, which can lead to diabetes.
  • Weight gain – If you are constantly tired, you will likely exercise less and may put on a few pounds.Obesity also raises the chances of getting sleep apnea in the first place.

Common Signs of Sleep Apnea

Graphic showing red heart inside blue body

Many people who suffer from sleep apnea first get a hint that something is wrong from their spouse or partner. That is because snoring is one of the most common symptoms! However, even if you are not disturbing your family’s nightly peace with the sounds of your snoring, there are additional warnings signs. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Morning headaches
  • Waking up often to use the bathroom
  • Waking up gasping or choking for air
  • Dry or sore throat or mouth
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of libido

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, give our office a call to discuss the possibility of undergoing a sleep study. This is an important step to obtaining an official sleep apnea diagnosis.

How Can We Help?

Man asleep at the wheel of car

If you have received an official diagnosis for sleep apnea in Stephens City, do not wait to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gromling at our convenient Stephens City location.

One common treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which utilizes a mask and air pump to maintain a person’s airflow during the night. Although effective, many people have trouble adjusting to sleeping with the device.

Fortunately, we offer a more comfortable and convenient alternative: oral appliance therapy. This sleep apnea treatment involves wearing a small, custom mouthpiece at night to keep your airway from being obstructed. By making slight changes to your jaw position, an FDA-approved oral appliance can dramatically improve your quality of sleep and reduce symptoms of sleep apnea.

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