Sleep Apnea and Your Heart
Obstructive sleep apnea can be damaging for your heart. Sometimes patients are unaware of how sleep problems or the cessation of breathing can relate to their heart, but the evidence is clear. If you or your partner spot the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, further investigation and resolution can be better for your overall well-being, including your heart. At All Smiles Sleep Solutions, we can work with you to diagnose the issue and help you get a better night’s rest.
Our bodies are working machines, including many parts working together to make the whole. Obstructive sleep apnea causes a break or disruption in the functioning of our body as a machine. When a person lays down to sleep, this shift makes adjustments in our body, tissue settles differently and muscles relax. As we enter sleep, some of these changes can cause the windpipe to be cut off or reduced in size. This can be due to a number of reasons.
Obstructive sleep apnea, or the cinching of our windpipe, can be due to:
How Can Sleep Apnea Affect My Heart?
When a person ceases to breathe while sleeping, most often due to a blockage, the brain releases adrenaline or a stress hormone. The release of adrenaline wakes the person just enough to gasp for air. The benefit of this natural reaction is getting the oxygen your body needs. The drawback is the frequency that the body has to go without oxygen and jolt to get the oxygen. Most patients will repeat the cessation of breathing and adrenaline to gasp, many, if not hundreds, of times a night, sometimes for years.
The results are often inadequate sleep, blended with irritability, increasing your blood pressure, and ultimately, damaging your heart. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea have been found to be at a much higher risk of stroke and heart disease. We can help you diagnose the issue and create a treatment plan to help.