Request Apt. Take Our Sleep Quiz Call Map
Patient Referrals

Sleep Apnea Linked to Brain Damage and Memory Loss

October 14, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — drdernick @ 7:00 pm

Tired man needing sleep apnea therapy in The WoodlandsIf you frequently stop breathing throughout the night, you’re likely among the 18 million Americans living with obstructive sleep apnea. Although the sleep disorder is easily treatable, at least 80% of patients with the condition are untreated. Many haven’t even been properly diagnosed. If you have signs of sleep apnea, you don’t want to wait to get the treatment you need. Snoring and fatigue aren’t the only complications it can cause. New research has found it can lead to brain damage. Here are the facts you need to make a consultation for sleep apnea therapy in The Woodlands a top priority.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Brain

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common, which occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the mouth or throat collapse, creating a blockage in the airway. The obstruction can cause you to stop breathing hundreds of times each night. Some interruptions in breathing can last for longer than one minute.

Every time you stop breathing, your brain jolts you awake to resume inhaling. While you may not be aware of the awakenings, they are interrupting your sleep cycle and depriving your brain of oxygen. It can be impossible to reach restorative sleep, which is crucial to your energy levels, concentration, mood, and memory.

Sleep Apnea and Brain Damage

New research by UCLA found untreated sleep apnea alters short-term recall because memories are consolidated while sleeping. Your brain won’t be able to store the experiences from the day, leading to forgetfulness and memory loss.

The researchers studied mammillary bodies, which are structures in the brain responsible for memory storage. Their results found adults with sleep apnea had 20% smaller structures than those without it. Sleep journal supported UCLA’s findings in an article discussing the progression of brain damage caused by inadequate sleep quality.

Safeguard Your Brain Health

You don’t need to lose sleep at night worrying about your brain health in The Woodlands. Your dentist has the solutions you need to treat sleep apnea. Traditionally, a CPAP machine is used to keep the airways open, but you have another option.

An oral appliance is a popular alternative to a CPAP because it’s comfortable and convenient. The custom-fit appliance holds the lower jaw forward to prevent your soft tissues from blocking the airway. It is effective in treating mild-to-moderate cases of sleep apnea.

You can stop tossing and turning worrying about your brain health. An oral appliance can boost your memory and overall wellness using a noninvasive solution. You’ll get the rest you need and breathe easier.

About Dr. Robert Dernick

Dr. Dernick is known as “The Woodlands sleep apnea specialist.” He earned his dental degree from the University of Texas before continuing his training in sleep apnea and other sleep-disordered breathing problems. He provides safe, effective, and noninvasive sleep apnea therapy. He can improve your overall health and quality of life with an oral appliance. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation for sleep apnea therapy.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.