San Francisco dentist discusses a recent study linking poor health and sleep apnea
It’s no secret that exercise is important. The benefits of cardio and strength fitness apply to both the mental and physical wellness of most patients. However, research has also shown that how you sleep can impact your physical fitness.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found that individuals who have moderate to severe obstructive cases of sleep apnea might have less ability to burn high amounts of oxygen while doing strenuous cardio exercise. Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition in which a person frequently stops breathing while sleeping. These episodes may last only several seconds but can interrupt sleep patterns and cause snoring, exhaustion, headaches, sore throats, and more. Over time, the condition can cause a person’s health to deteriorate as the body and the brain stop receiving oxygen during these sleep apnea episodes.
While one of the risk factors for sleep apnea is obesity, the study found that individuals with sleep apnea had less aerobic health compared to other individuals with the same body mass index. Certainly, researchers found, an argument can be made that would encourage patients to exercise more in order to reduce their risk of sleep apnea. However, researchers also believe that sleep apnea can cause changes to the muscle that will make it more difficult for those patients to exercise. This indicates that physicians could use VO2 max measurements to diagnose sleep apnea, which could lead to more treatment of the disorder.
Currently, sleep apnea is often undiagnosed and, therefore, not properly treated. Patients either don’t recognize that they’re having sleep issues or they believe their exhaustion or headaches are due to stress or other factors that inhibit their ability to sleep. When sleep apnea is diagnosed, patients have several forms of treatment available. Dr. Leo Arellano helps his patients find relief and a good night’s sleep using an oral appliance that shifts the jaw and keeps the tongue from covering the airway. This method of treatment is often preferred to the CPAP machine which delivers constant air to the patient because the CPAP appliance can be awkward and uncomfortable. For more information about sleep apnea call Dr. Leo Arellano General & Cosmetic Dentistry today.