woman sleeping in bed

5 Common Side Effects of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by breathing pauses during sleep. Someone with sleep apnea can stop breathing numerous times a night, usually for between 10 to 20 seconds at a time. Thankfully, treatment for sleep apnea in Lethbridge is available at Lethbridge dental clinics such as London Road Dental.

Some of the main risk factors for sleep apnea include being male, being over the age of 40, excessive weight, a family history of sleep apnea, and a thick neck circumference (greater than 16 inches for women and greater than 17 inches for men).


Loud snoring punctured by pauses in breathing is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea. Other symptoms include: choking and gasping for air, daytime fatigue, headaches, dry mouth and a sore throat in the morning, and irritability.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition which can cause or contribute to other serious health problems if left untreated by a Lethbridge sleep apnea clinic, including:

High Blood Pressure

When people with sleep apnea stop breathing during the night, their oxygen levels quickly drop. When the brain picks up on the drop on available oxygen, it signals the nervous system to tighten the body's blood vessels in order to increase blood flow.

Cardiovascular Disease


High blood pressure and sleep apnea are both associated with cardiovascular disorders such as heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and heart attack. Both put increased stress on the circulatory system by forcing it to work harder.

- Cerebrovascular disease

Sleep apnea makes it more difficult for oxygenated blood to pump effectively throughout the entire body, including the brain. By disrupting cerebral blood circulation in this way, sleep apnea can increase the risk of stroke.

Weight Gain

Weight gain and sleep apnea often exacerbate one another. Excessive weight can lead to sleep apnea, and sleep apnea can, in turn, cause your body to crave more sugars and carbohydrates by triggering the release of a hormone called ghrelin.

Type 2 Diabetes

Both obesity and sleep apnea have been independently associated with the development of type 2 diabetes, as they both have a negative effect on how the body uses insulin. Sleep apnea is very common among people with type 2 diabetes.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Lethbridge


If you suspect that you might have sleep apnea, then it is important to seek diagnosis and treatment. Women, in particular, are at a higher risk than men of developing heart disease and other heart problems due to sleep apnea. Treating sleep apnea can reduce the severity of the conditions discussed above, and may even help to prevent them entirely.

Dr. Jared Nelson at London Road Dental is a Lethbridge dentist that offers family dental services, cosmetic dentistry and dental implants in Lethbridge, and oral appliance treatment for sleep apnea.

We encourage you to come in to our Lethbridge dental clinic for a free consultation that can help determine if you suffer from sleep apnea. Contact London Road Dental to book your appointment today.