How Sleep Apnea in Topeka Weakens Your Immune System

July 22, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 7:16 pm
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You find yourself being tired at work more and more often these days. You keep nodding off during meetings and missing important information. In addition, you find yourself taking more sick days than you normally would. Pretty soon you run out, and you end up having to come to work even when you feel exhausted and ill. If this sounds like you, you may have sleep apnea, and it may be affecting more than just your sleep. Keep reading to learn how sleep apnea in Topeka can affect your immune system.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing while you’re asleep. This sends a signal to the brain that you’re not getting enough oxygen, and it responds by waking you up. Even though you might not remember these episodes of waking up, they can disrupt your sleep cycle.

Sleep apnea is typically caused by an obstruction of the airway. This is often the result of tissues in the throat collapsing. Some risk factors of sleep apnea include:

  • Obesity
  • Having large tonsils or a thick neck
  • Chronic allergies
  • Being male
  • Being over the age of 50

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, let your dentist or doctor know:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up with a headache or sore throat
  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Waking up gasping at night

What Does Your Immune System Do While You’re Asleep?

If your sleep cycle is frequently interrupted due to sleep apnea, it can stop your immune system from doing its job during sleep. Your body produces most of its infection-fighting antibodies while you’re asleep. It also creates cytokines during sleep. Cytokines are specific types of proteins that target infection and inflammation. Additionally, when you get enough sleep, vaccines become more effective. When you get a vaccine, your body makes antibodies to fight that disease. If you don’t get enough sleep, you might not receive enough of those antibodies, and the vaccine could be a failure. Therefore, sleep is essential to having a healthy immune system.

How Is Sleep Apnea a Danger to Your Immune System?

Your body produces cytokines and antibodies when you’re in the deeper stages of sleep. If you have sleep apnea and are waking during the night, you might not be reaching that deep state very often. This means that your body won’t be able to fight off infections and inflammations as well as it should.

If you think you might have sleep apnea, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. This is essential not just for your oral health, but your overall health as well. Talk to your dentist today about how to get quality sleep again.

About the Author

Dr. Michael Michel has had his own dental practice in Topeka, Kansas since 1981. In addition to his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, he also has an interest in dental sleep medicine, and has pursued advanced training and continuing education hours in that area. He has also studied non-surgical TMJ disorder treatment, which often goes hand-in-hand with sleep apnea treatment. To learn more about how Dr. Michel can help you sleep soundly again, click here or call (785)-273-0802.

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