Are Sleep Apnea Patients At Greater Risk For Heart Disease?
At the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea Solutions NW, we want to help people who suffer from sleep apnea and snoring. It is always concerning when sleep apnea is not properly diagnosed or left untreated. Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to a number of problems with your overall health, one in particular is aggressive heart disease.
How Are These Conditions Connected?
Patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea stop breathing multiple times during the night, up to hundreds of times each hour in severe cases. Each time your breathing stops, it causes the oxygen levels in your body to drop. To counteract the low oxygen, your body will release adrenaline, which is a stress hormone. When this continues nightly for years, the continuously high levels of adrenaline will ultimately lead to high blood pressure — a serious condition that, if not treated, can cause clogged arteries and poor heart function. This significantly increases your risk of a heart attack. Patients with untreated sleep apnea are also at higher risk for stroke, coronary artery disease, and heart failure.
Know the Signs
Unfortunately, a large number of people are living with obstructive sleep apnea and are fully unaware of the problem or have been misdiagnosed. It is important that you are familiar with your body and can pinpoint when you don’t feel right. If you are concerned that you or a family member may be experiencing sleep apnea, be sure to look for these symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Frequent waking and gasping for air
- Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
- Mood changes and irritability
- Morning headaches
If you are unsure whether you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, or if you have been diagnosed and need treatment, we are happy to help. Contact one of our offices, which are located in Silverdale, Lynnwood, and Federal Way, WA, to schedule an appointment.