Your partner complains about your chronic, loud snoring. You also wake up feeling tired and experience fatigue throughout the day. You know you should seek some professional help for your sleep apnea, but it’s not that big of a problem, right? Well, your sleep apnea could have a larger impact on your health than you think. Check out this helpful information about sleep apnea in Estero and how it can influence your heart health in the long term.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious condition in which breathing stops for a short period of time during sleep. Your brain wakes your body up enough to resume breathing, often with a gasp for air. These pauses in breathing can occur between five and thirty times an hour during sleep, adding up to hundreds of times per night. As a result, those with sleep apnea do not typically get quality sleep and can suffer from negative symptoms such as daytime fatigue and drowsiness, depression, and memory loss.
How does sleep apnea affect your heart?
When your breathing stops, your oxygen levels drop, triggering an alert in your brain. It sends stress signals to the body that cause a spike in your blood pressure. When lapses in breathing can occur hundreds of times per night, your body can become accustomed to these spikes and carry them over into the time when you’re awake. Over time, your blood pressure simply remains at a high level even when you’re breathing normally. High blood pressure and hypertension are two main risks of heart disease, which is the most common cause of death in the United States.
How is sleep apnea treated?
The good news is that sleep apnea is treatable! In many cases, patients benefit from using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. For others, a simple oral appliance from your dentist in Estero repositions their lower jaw to prevent blockages in the airways. Seeking treatment for sleep apnea means that patients get better sleep, have more energy, and function better during the day. All that, in turn, leads to better overall health.
Does treating sleep apnea improve heart health?
Evidence suggests that treating patients for sleep apnea not only lowers their blood pressure at night but also during the day. For example, one study found that those who had an irregular heart beat and sleep apnea and received appropriate sleep apnea treatment had only a 40 percent chance of needing additional treatment for their heart condition. Compare that to the 80 percent chance for those who didn’t get sleep apnea treatment, and you’ve got significant improvement. Treating your sleep apnea could dramatically promote your heart health.
In the end, treating your sleep apnea is about more than just putting an end to your snoring so your partner can sleep. It’s about getting the care you need so that you can fully enjoy your health now and down the road. If you have sleep apnea, don’t waste any more time. Seek treatment sooner rather than later. Your partner and your heart will thank you for it.
About the Practice
Pelican Landing Dental has four talented, experienced dentists on staff available to serve patients in the Estero area with various dental needs. They have the training and capbility to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea with a custom-made dental appliance that helps keep the airways open during sleep. To make an appointment with them, you can call (239) 948-2111 or click here.