It’s Not Just Snoring: The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

If your family and friends are constantly complaining about your loud snoring, don’t ignore them. Snoring is often the first indication you have an underlying sleep disorder, known as sleep apnea.

At West Houston Surgical Associates, Christopher Reilly, MD, FACS, specializes in diagnosing sleep apnea and can provide guidance for how best to treat the condition.

Understanding sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that causes you to stop breathing briefly when you are asleep. In obstructive sleep apnea, the disruption of breathing occurs because of the relaxing of soft tissues at the back of your throat.

While anyone can develop sleep apnea, your risks increase if you are:

Men may be at a higher risk for sleep apnea than women, especially if they are over 40.

Recognizing sleep apnea

Unfortunately, you may be the last to know you have sleep apnea because the symptoms of the condition are most apparent while you’re sleeping. Your partner or family may point out symptoms like loud snoring or gasping for breath.

However, you may also notice symptoms yourself that are associated with sleep apnea, such as:

Any of these issues should motivate you to seek a sleep study to confirm whether they relate to sleep apnea or another underlying condition.

Dangers of untreated sleep apnea

A consistent routine of high-quality, undisrupted sleep is vital for overall health. If you have sleep apnea, you typically wake up several times throughout the night, even if you aren’t aware of it.

A lack of good sleep, especially on a regular basis, not only interferes with how you feel each day, it can also be a contributing factor to a variety of chronic, and potentially dangerous, health conditions.

If you are overweight or obese and have sleep apnea, your risk factors for long-term health complications increase significantly. These complications include:

To lower your risks for these and other diseases, you should focus on receiving treatment for your sleep apnea and improving your overall health through a good diet and exercise plan.

If obesity is limiting what you can do to lower sleep apnea-related health complications, Dr. Reilly can determine if you’re a candidate for a medically supervised weight loss program or for bariatric surgery.

Other profound benefits of weight loss

Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for good health and longevity. In addition to treating and preventing sleep apnea, losing weight can reduce your short-term and long-term risk factors for number of chronic health conditions and diseases.

If you’re struggling to lose weight on your own or if you need guidance to maintain your weight loss results, Dr. Reilly works closely with you to determine what you need to find success. Whether you need bariatric surgery or ongoing support for making necessary lifestyle and diet changes, he tailors your care to help you achieve your ultimate weight loss goals.

If you need help losing weight to improve the results of your sleep apnea treatment, schedule a consultation at West Houston Bariatrics today, online or by phone. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Understanding Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy can have long-term consequences if not prevented. Learn how bariatric surgery can help reduce your risk for physical disability, blindness, and other diabetes-related complications.

Are 1 of These 5 Things Causing Your Acid Reflux?

Your weight, your diet, and your lifestyle all contribute to your risk for acid reflux. Learn what’s at the heart of acid reflux and how you can reduce your risk through lifestyle changes and bariatric surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Hypertension

Your weight plays a role in your overall health, including your blood pressure. If you’re obese and have hypertension, gastric sleeve surgery might be a solution for managing your blood pressure and improving your overall health.

Complications of Sleep Apnea

Snoring isn’t the only risk you face with obstructive sleep apnea. Learn how this nighttime breathing disorder can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other serious health complications.

Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Reducing the size of your stomach with gastric sleeve surgery can provide both immediate and long-term health benefits. Learn how a gastric sleeve works and how you can benefit from this popular bariatric surgery.