How Long Will It Take to Reverse Damage From Sleep Apnea?

How Long Will It Take to Reverse Damage From Sleep Apnea?

June 1, 2022

A good night’s rest comes with tons of rewards such as mental clarity, better moods, energy, etc. Nevertheless, if you suffer from sleep apnea, you might be sleep deprived and not even know it. Millions of people are suffering from this sleep disorder, and it is believed that millions more have undiagnosed sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea affects various areas of your body and can lower your quality of life. You might be tired throughout the day; you can develop high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, etc. Sleep apnea can take a massive toll on your brain and your heart. That’s why you need to visit our dentist in Watsonville to receive sleep apnea treatment.

Visiting our sleep apnea specialist near you is beneficial since you can find various treatments that can help you. But before we view the treatments, let’s see what happens to your body when you have sleep apnea.

Effects of Sleep Apnea on Your Body

Sleep apnea affects breathing while you are sleeping. There is an obstruction of the airways by the soft tissue that causes limited airflow into the body, resulting in repeated breathing pauses throughout the night. These breathing pauses can happen almost 100 times a night.

Sleep apnea does much more to your body than makes you sleepy during the day. If you don’t seek treatment from our sleep apnea specialist near you, you will likely develop diabetes, heart disease and other long-term risks.

It affects the body systems as follows:

  • Respiratory System

Sleep apnea can worsen asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease symptoms since it deprives the body of oxygen. You will be short of breath most of the time or have more trouble exercising.

  • Endocrine System

You are more likely to develop insulin resistance if you have untreated sleep apnea. Insulin resistance is when the cells are not responding as they should to insulin. You could develop type 2 diabetes, high LDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar levels if this happens.

  • Digestive System

Sleep apnea also affects the digestive system since it causes fatty liver disease and liver scarring. It can also worsen heartburn symptoms and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

  • Circulatory System

You will be more likely to become obese and have high blood pressure, which could strain your heart. Your heart rhythm could become abnormal and increase your risk of a stroke.

  • Nervous System

Sleep apnea can also affect the brain and the nervous system. If you have central sleep apnea, you could experience tingling and numbness. Also, you will develop short-term memory loss since the brain cannot store information while you have continuous sleep disruption.

  • Reproductive System

Sleep apnea decreases libido and could even lead to erectile dysfunction in men and decrease your chances of having children.

Can We Reverse Sleep Apnea If We Lose Weight?

Sleep apnea treatments come in different forms. Our dentist in Watsonville will recommend the treatment that is fit for the severity of your case. Therefore, you can expect devices such as CPAP that help you breathe throughout the night. In severe cases, surgery will be recommended.

Our dentist can also recommend lifestyle changes such as losing weight. If you have excess weight, fat begins to deposit around your neck. The extra fat will block the upper airway when you sleep if this happens.

Also, when there is increased abdominal girth due to the excess fat, you will feel as though your chest is being compressed, which decreases lung volume.

Treating sleep apnea may begin with lifestyle and behavioral modifications. So, if you decide to lose weight, you will significantly reduce the fatty deposits in the neck and tongue. This can help open the airways. Also, losing weight will help reduce abdominal fat, improving airway traction.

Weight loss can reduce the severity of OSA by almost 50%. So, if you ask, “Is sleep apnea reversible with weight loss?” There is no definitive answer. However, you will have to incorporate other therapies to reverse the effects of sleep apnea completely.

Time Take to Recover From Sleep Apnea

How long you will take to recover from sleep apnea will depend on the treatment method and the severity of your case. If you undergo surgery, it will take several days to recover. If you are using CPAP, it will take some time before you notice the positive effects of the treatment.

Averagely, the effects will start showing around three months, and full recovery can be up to a year.

Sleep apnea should be dealt with as soon as possible. Contact us at Watsonville Family Dental to schedule an appointment.