Sleep Apnea and Negative Health Effects, Featuring Dr. Michel Fancelli, Centre Dentaire Fancelli, Montreal (Longueuil), QC
Sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops breathing during the night for more than 10 seconds at a time and up to 90 seconds or more at a time, occurring many times during the night, says Dr. Michel Fancelli, of the Centre Dentaire Fancelli in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada.
According to Dr. Fancelli, there are three types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing altogether and the lungs stop working, caused by a miscommunication between the brain and the lungs, notes Dr. Fancelli. Obstructive sleep apnea is when the tongue or other structures prevents a person from breathing, as they block the airway. Mixed sleep apnea is when a person has a combination of both central and obstructive sleep apnea.
There are many negative health effects associated with sleep apnea and the problem, Dr. Fancelli says, is that many people don't know they have it. "Lack of oxygen to the brain and the vital organs will cause a lot of stress to the body," says Dr. Fancelli. He adds that people get tired and restless, have a higher rate of stroke and heart attacks, increased blood pressure, increased risk for type 2 diabetes, morning headaches, acid reflux, depression and for men, increased risk for erectile dysfunction. There is also a relationship between apnea and teeth grinding, so people have TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems as well, according to Dr. Fancelli.
Dr. Michel Fancelli is a member of the ACSDD, (Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines) and has been practicing dentistry at the Centre Dentaire Fancelli in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada since 1984. Dr. Fancelli is a sleep expert with Sleep Better TV, providing online, on-demand sleep disorder video content.