SLEEP DISORDERS ARE a common problem among pregnant women and can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. One such complication is pre-eclampsia, a condition that affects roughly 5-8% of pregnant women and can cause high blood pressure, damage to organs, and other serious health problems.
The Dangers of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can have both short and long-term impacts on a person’s health. In the short term, sleep apnea can lead to symptoms such as daytime sleepiness, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. It can also increase the risk of accidents and injuries due to drowsiness.
In the long term, untreated sleep apnea can have more serious health consequences. Sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In fact, people with untreated sleep apnea are two to three times more likely to develop high blood pressure and are at a significantly higher risk of heart disease.
Sleep Apnea and Pregnancy
Research has shown that sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea, are tied to higher rates of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. Sleep apnea is a condition where a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep, which can lead to a number of health problems.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Traditionally, sleep apnea has been treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which uses a mask to deliver a constant flow of air to keep the airway open during sleep. However, CPAP can be uncomfortable and difficult for some people to use, which can make it challenging for pregnant women to comply with the treatment.
Fortunately, there are alternative treatments available for sleep apnea that do not require the use of a CPAP machine. One such treatment is oral appliance therapy, which involves wearing a custom-fitted “mouthguard” that helps to keep the airway open during sleep. This treatment is often more comfortable than CPAP and is a popular option for pregnant women who struggle with CPAP compliance. A non-invasive option like oral appliance therapy can be a better treatment for OSA than surgery or CPAP. The best treatment is the one you will use!
Take Steps for Better Sleep and a Safer Pregnancy
It’s important for pregnant women to prioritize their sleep and seek treatment for any sleep disorders they may be experiencing, as untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications like pre-eclampsia. If you’re pregnant and struggling with sleep apnea, talk to your healthcare provider about the available treatment options, including oral appliance therapy. With the right treatment, you can improve your sleep and reduce your risk of complications during pregnancy.
Dr. Burman Can Help
Dr. Burman at Snoring and Sleep Apnea Therapy LLC in Jupiter, FL is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (D.ABDSM), meaning that he has extensive training as a dentist in the treatment of sleep-related breathing disorders, specifically the fabrication and use of mandibular positioning devices. You can learn more about our practice by checking our business page, and make sure to get directions before heading our way.