Sleep apnea is a condition in which the muscles and tissue at the back of a patient’s throat collapse during sleep and obstruct the airway for a brief period of time. While the episode itself is usually not life-threatening, the continuation of these periods can cause multiple health problems, including in the heart.
Individuals with sleep apnea should seek prompt treatment before these problems develop. Buckeye Heart and Vascular Institute in Dayton, OH describes how sleep apnea can negatively impact your cardiovascular health, including raising your risk for congestive heart failure.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
Because this condition manifests while an individual is unconscious, many patients may not know they have sleep apnea. Partners of these patients may report loud snoring or cessation of breathing during sleep in these individuals.
The patient may notice gasping awake in the night, grogginess during the day, or headaches. If these symptoms sound familiar, you should contact your doctor who may recommend a sleep study to confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea.
How Does Sleep Apnea Affect My Heart?
The cessation of breathing, while it may only last for a few seconds, creates stress on organs as they experience a lack of oxygen. Over time, this stress contributes to cardiovascular diseases, increasing your risk of stroke, congestive heart failure, and other potentially deadly medical problems.
The lack of good-quality sleep due to waking in the night and added stress to the body may lead to lower cognitive function too, which can be detrimental to your mental health and create even more medical concerns.
What Treatment Is Available?
If your doctor determines that you have sleep apnea, they may recommend lifestyle changes, including exercise and a healthy diet, to encourage improved sleep quality. These can be beneficial for your cardiovascular health overall as well.
They may also suggest using a CPAP machine at night. This device includes a mask worn over the nose or mouth that forces air through your airways as you sleep. You can discuss treatment for more severe sleep apnea cases with your doctor during a consultation appointment.
Prevent Heart Failure in Dayton, OH
Buckeye Heart and Vascular Institute treats congestive heart failure and other cardiovascular concerns in patients in Dayton, OH. Our practice provides echo testing, venous ultrasounds, cardiac imaging, and many other services. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 937.203.8602.