Complications of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Complications of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Posted by WINNING SMILES DENTISTRY on Apr 14 2020, 08:37 AM

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods of time while sleeping. Sleep apnea Glendale or sleep apnea Phoenix can cause a person to wake up feeling tired, or it can cause them to wake up with a headache.

Here are complications that may occur due to untreated sleep apnea Glendale or sleep apnea Phoenix:

High Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea causes high blood pressure because it inhibits adequate sleep, meaning your cardiovascular system is not resting as it should. This can cause elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, and an increase in stress hormones that elevate the risk of heart attack or stroke. 

If your upper airways are blocked because of sleep apnea, your body will work harder to breathe throughout the night. This can lead to daytime fatigue, tossing and turning at night to try to sleep, and more serious complications like depression or hypertension. 

Weight Gain

Untreated sleep apnea can also cause weight gain. This is partly because of the hormonal changes it causes, which make you crave more high-fat and high-sugar foods and decrease your metabolism. It is also because when you snore loudly enough to disturb your partner’s sleep, you may stop breathing long enough to wake yourself up. This is disruptive to your natural sleep cycle and can disrupt both your sleep and your ability to stay awake during the day. For these reasons, those with severe sleep apnea are often overweight or obese. 

It is rare for someone who has obstructive sleep apnea to get any relief from simply losing weight. However, if a patient has mild to moderate sleep apnea, weight loss can help alleviate some of the symptoms. For patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea, the best solution is still to wear a CPAP machine while you sleep. 

As with most things related to your health, the first step is prevention. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea Glendale or sleep apnea Phoenix, talk to our dentist as soon as possible. Our dentist may recommend you visit a medical doctor and get a sleep apnea diagnosis. You can take steps such as sleeping on your side, quitting smoking, or losing weight to help yourself avoid developing sleep apnea. 

Heart Disease

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a number of cardiovascular issues, including high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. These risks are even greater in patients who are overweight, have diabetes, smoke cigarettes, or are male. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of developing heart disease by as much as five times!

In addition, when you’re struggling with sleep apnea, you’re more likely to suffer from chronic fatigue due to the poor sleep you’ve been getting. This fatigue can then lead to problems with concentration and memory throughout the day, which can, in turn, increase your risk of having an accident on the job.

Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can lead to many health problems if left untreated. One of the more serious complications is a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked for a short period of time. This can result in temporary loss of brain functions. This can lead to memory loss or difficulty speaking. However, since it occurs so suddenly, many people don’t realize it has happened until they experience symptoms later on. 

Type 2 Diabetes

Many people with sleep apnea also have type 2 diabetes, a disease in which a person’s body is unable to properly regulate their blood sugar levels. When periods of breathing pause or cease, the carbon dioxide levels in the body increase dramatically. The kidneys then work overtime to remove the extra carbon dioxide from the body. In the process, the kidneys also excrete large amounts of sugar into the urine. This explains why many patients with sleep apnea have problems regulating their blood sugar and suffer from frequent urination. According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 80 percent of people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea also have a comorbidity of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, studies show that once patients with sleep apnea are treated for the problem, they experience a significant improvement in their type 2 diabetes symptoms. In fact, some studies have found that treating sleep apnea can actually reverse the effects of the disease.


Sleep apnea Glendale or sleep apnea Phoenix may lead to depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders because it disrupts your nightly sleep cycle. Constantly waking throughout the night can cause you to feel restless and moody during the day, which can affect relationships at home and at work.

When left untreated, sleep apnea can make it more difficult to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety and may even lead to suicidal thoughts. Studies show that people who are depressed are much more likely to have untreated sleep apnea than those who are not depressed. It’s extremely important to treat sleep apnea to lower your risk of experiencing these negative mental health conditions.

Accidents and Injuries

Many people with sleep apnea are unaware that they have it and thus do not seek treatment. When left untreated, sleep apnea can cause people to have accidents or sustain injuries that they wouldn’t otherwise have sustained if they had slept better the night before. It can also lower the quality of sleep they get at night so that even when they are sleeping well, they can still wake up feeling groggy or unrested. This can make driving and operating heavy machinery dangerous. Wearing a CPAP machine while sleeping can help to prevent these sorts of problems.

Dr. Darian, D.D.S. of Winning Smiles Dentistry, is here to provide you with the best treatment and advice possible. To make a reservation or to learn more about Sleep Apnea Glendale and Sleep Apnea Phoenix, please contact us at (623) 777-7942. Alternatively, you can visit us at your nearest location to see the dentist in Glendale or the dentist in Phoenix.

Leave A Reply

Please fill all the fields.

Schedule Your Consultation!

Please Select Day
Please Select Time


20165 N 67th Ave #103, Glendale, AZ 85308

Phone: (623) 777-7942

Email: [email protected]

  • MONDAY: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • TUESDAY: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • WEDNESDAY: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • THURSDAY: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • FRIDAY: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SATURDAY: By appointments only.
  • SUNDAY: Closed
Contact Us

5555 N 7th St. Ste. #142, Phoenix, AZ 85014

Phone: (602) 691-6468

Email: [email protected]

  • MONDAY: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • TUESDAY: Closed
  • WEDNESDAY: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • THURSDAY: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • FRIDAY: Closed
  • SATURDAY: By appointments only.
  • SUNDAY: Closed
Contact Us