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OSA Increases Risk of Sudden Death

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a dangerous sleep disorder that is caused by the collapse of the airway during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea causes pauses in breathing that is often accompanied by snoring. It also causes those affected to wake repeatedly throughout the night, causing poor sleep, lethargy, cognitive impairment, depression, and worse. Studies have shown that obstructive sleep apnea can contribute to and even worsen conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Now, a new study is delivering more bad news for sufferers of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea doubles your odds for sudden death.

Exactly why may depend on your individual comorbid conditions, but researchers in the study surmised that fragmented sleep, inflammation, chronic activation of the nervous system, and oxygen deficiency may all be to blame. Furthermore, they believe that the lack of oxygen may increase aging by speeding up the aging process, worsening many of the comorbid conditions you may already have.

The bad news is that there is no evidence that therapy like CPAP will prevent sudden death, but more research needs to be done on this matter before any conclusions are reached. In the meantime, addressing sleep apnea is still your best course of action when dealing with this sleep disorder. Here are a few ways you can help reduce your risk and side effects of sleep apnea.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

We want you to maintain a healthy weight for many reasons, but obstructive sleep apnea occurs more frequently in those who are obese or overweight. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce both the risk and severity of your obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. It can also improve conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking benefits the entire body, and can reduce your risk and severity of sleep apnea. It can also reduce the severity of symptoms in diabetes and heart disease, and help lower your risk of cancer.

Sleep Orthotics

Using a device like an oral sleep orthotic to position the airway open as you sleep is an excellent way to combat obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Peterson offers this solution in his clinic. To learn more about if a mandibular sleep orthotic is right for you, contact Dr. Peterson’s office and schedule a consultation today.

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