Can Sleep Apnea Cause Brain Damage?

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Brain Damage?

Does your partner complain about your loud snoring? Feel fatigued and like you haven’t slept every day? You may be suffering from a common condition known as sleep apnea.

About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder that affects patients while they sleep. During an episode, the airway into the lungs becomes restricted and may even collapse. When the airway is affected, oxygen stops going to the lungs and also stops being transported throughout the body, including your brain.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Wondering if you may have sleep apnea? The most common symptoms patients experience when suffering from sleep apnea include:

  • Daytime Sleepiness/Fatigue
  • Insonia
  • Loud Snoring
  • Loud Breathing
  • Loss of Breath
  • Depression
  • Dry Mouth
  • Sore/Dry Throat
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Mood Swings
  • Weight Gain

How Does Sleep Apnea Cause Brain Damage?

  • Blood-Brain Barrier – Research has shown that sleep apnea can cause the blood-brain barrier to become permeable, allowing damaging substances to enter the brain. These substances may increase a patient’s risk of epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and even stroke.
  • Brain Chemicals – Patients that suffer from sleep apnea have also been known to have changes in the brain chemicals GABA and glutamate. These brain chemical changes can affect memory, learning, mood and even nerves and neurons within the brain.
  • Memory Loss – Damage to the white matter areas of the brain caused by sleep apnea have shown an increase in mood regulation problems along with memory loss.
  • Stroke – Research has also shown that sleep apnea can have a direct effect on the arteries located in the brain, increasing a patient’s risk of strokes.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Houston, TX

At Sonrisa Dental Care, we are dedicated to not only our patient’s oral health but also their overall health and well-being. We are proud to offer various Houston sleep apnea treatment options for our patients interested in improving their sleep apnea and symptoms associated with the condition.

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) – During a UPPP procedure, excess tissue located in the mouth and throat are removed, allowing the patient to breathe better while sleeping by reducing obstruction of the airway.
  • Maxillomandibular Advancement – During the maxillomandibular advancement procedure, the jaw is moved away from the other facial bones, providing more room behind the soft palate, reducing obstruction of the patient’s airway.
  • Tracheostomy – In extremely severe sleep apnea cases where other treatment options have failed, a Tracheostomy may be recommended. This procedure involved inserting a tube into the throat which aids in breathing.

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