If you have sleep apnea or know someone who does, you probably know the common risks and symptoms associated with the disorder. Those who have untreated sleep apnea will commonly suffer from fatigue, daytime sleepiness, a lack of energy and concentration and possibly even decreasing cardiovascular health. As if the symptoms and health impact of sleep apnea weren’t enough to push one to get treatment ASAP, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that sleep apnea has now been linked to dementia. In fact, sleep apnea sufferers are twice as likely to develop dementia.
Because sleep apnea deprived the brain, and subsequently the rest of the body, of much needed oxygen, the lack of oxygen flow slowly but surely causes a decline in cognitive ability. The study included 298 women over the age of 65. Out of the 298 women alone, 32.5% of them had mild cognitive impairment or signs of dementia. Study participants who had sleep apnea were at twice the risk of suffering from cognitive impairment.
The Importance Of Sleep Apnea Treatment
While the study showed startling outcomes for older women suffering from sleep apnea, the study also suggested that with effective sleep apnea treatment, the onset of dementia could be delayed and in some cases treatment may be able to completely prevent one from suffering from dementia at all. However, before anyone can be treated for sleep apnea, he/she has to first undergo a sleep study. The problem is that most people aren’t aware that they have sleep apnea because the after effects of the disorder aren’t always enough to send people seeking medical attention.
Daytime sleepiness, fatigue, a lack of energy, restlessness, and morning headaches are all common symptoms that a sleep apneic may experience while awake. When sleeping, a sleep apneic will more than likely snore very loudly and constantly and an inconsistent breathing pattern will more than likely be present. Thankfully sleep apnea treatment isn’t hard to come by and with the help of dentists such as Dr. Berry, patients can seek out alternative treatment methods aside from CPAP. Oral appliance therapy has proven to be a very dependable method of treatment. Contact Dr. Berry online or call (303) 691-0267 today to schedule a consultation.