Impact of Sleep Apnea on Mental Health

Impact of Sleep Apnea on Mental Health

Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. Physical symptoms, such as loud snoring and daytime fatigue, are well known, but sleep apnea can also have a significant impact on mental health.

A recent study found that all domains of quality of life, from mental and emotional health functioning to vitality and physical health, of patients with sleep apnea are affected by this disorder. Sleep apnea patients often present with excessive sleepiness and tiredness, poor concentration, memory impairment, and, in many cases, psychological disorders. Mental conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depressive disorder (MDD), emotional dysregulation, and cognitive disorders are other possible side effects of sleep apnea.

In general, different scientific studies show that patients with sleep apnea are at substantial risk of depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and severe psychological distress. Additionally, sleep apnea with hypoxemia (low blood oxygen) has been associated with greater cognitive impairment compared to those without hypoxemia.

Chronic sleep deprivation not only increases physiological reactivity to stressors, but also lowers the psychological threshold for stress management.


Is there a cure for sleep apnea?

Orthognathic surgery can improve breathing during sleep by increasing space in the upper airway and improving the alignment of the jaws and jaw. In addition to improving breathing, orthognathic surgery may also offer additional mental health benefits: Improved sleep quality after orthognathic surgery may help reduce the risk of developing mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety .

Findings from different studies suggest that patients with sleep apnea should be screened regularly for mental disorders throughout their sleep apnea treatment.

At Instituto Maxilofacial we understand the connection between sleep apnea and mental health, and our goal is to help our patients find relief, not only from the physical symptoms of sleep apnea, but also from the side effects on their mental health; that is why we have created a new Psychological Support Unit, to address this complex disorder from all fronts, accompany you during the process of your surgery, and, if necessary, refer you to a trusted specialist for subsequent follow-up.

If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, do not delay seeking medical attention; Orthognathic surgery is a proven solution to the negative mental health effects of sleep apnea. At Instituto Maxilofacial we offer orthognathic surgery surgical procedures to help you improve your mental and physical health. Contact us for more information.


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