Can Sleep Apnea Lead to Heart Problems?
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that causes you to stop breathing multiple times throughout the night. There are three different types of sleep apnea – obstructive, central, and complex – and in all its forms, it can be bad for your health. More than 20 million Americans have sleep apnea, and it’s important to seek treatment for it before it causes serious health complications.
How Does Sleep Apnea Impact My Health?
Sleep apnea interferes with your day-to-day functions. When you are not sleeping well at night, you are less focused and have less energy during the day. You may also experience prolonged oxygen deprivation, which can interfere with your endocrine system. Your heart may be one of the biggest victims of sleep apnea; when your oxygen drops quickly from not breathing, your blood pressure increases and so does the strain on your heart. Chronic sleep apnea can lead to serious cardiologic complications, including heart attack, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and stroke.
How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?
One of the most common signs of sleep apnea is disruptive snoring. Other symptoms include being extremely tired during the day after “sleeping” through the night, inability to focus, lack of energy, heart palpitations, and falling asleep during the day. You may also awake during the night gasping for air or wake with a headache and dry mouth.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
There are a variety of treatments for sleep apnea, from lifestyle changes like losing weight and quitting smoking to devices like CPAP. In recent years, the development of CPAP alternatives, like oral appliance therapy, are giving people who suffer from sleep apnea new options for treating apnea.
It’s important to seek medical help if you suspect you may have sleep apnea. A sleep study can determine if you have sleep apnea, and your doctor can help you decide a course of action. If you are snoring when you sleep but you aren’t sure how it’s affecting your body, schedule a consultation with us.