How Does Sleep Apnea Cause Cardiovascular Disease?

How Does Sleep Apnea Cause Cardiovascular Disease?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a severe condition that interrupts breathing for 10 seconds or more at night. This causes oxygen levels in the blood to drop and can cause shortness of breath or even unconsciousness if untreated.

People with OSA are at higher risk for developing other heart diseases such as hypertension and heart attack. They may also be more likely to develop stroke, a problem that causes a sudden loss of circulation to the brain.

In addition to the apneas and hypopneas, people with OSA may have other symptoms such as daytime sleepiness, frequent awakenings during the night, and snoring. They may also have high blood pressure, obesity, and a history of smoking or alcohol use.

Diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea in McDonough, Palmetto, Zebulon & Fayetteville, GA requires a combination of medical history and physical exam. You can also get a sleep study at a sleep clinic. The results of a sleep study help determine the severity of a person’s condition. This is based on the number of apneas and hypopneas they experience while asleep.

Ways Sleep Apnea Affect The Heart Function

Sleep Apnea causes pauses in breathing while you sleep, and it can lead to several health problems, including heart disease. The body reacts to a lack of oxygen with stress hormones, and repeated spikes in blood pressure can damage the arteries. This can increase your risk of stroke and heart disease.

  • High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can wear down and damage the arteries, causing them to harden and become narrow.

It also can lead to the formation of blood clots in the arteries. These clots block blood flow and can eventually cause a stroke. People with obstructive sleep apnea often experience hundreds of pauses in breathing during the night, which prevent the body from lowering its blood pressure.

  • Heart failure

Heart failure is when the body pumps enough blood to meet its needs. This can happen suddenly, called acute heart failure, or over time as the heart gets weaker, called chronic heart failure.

Acute heart failure typically occurs after a heart attack or other event damages the heart.

People with heart failure are at higher risk of developing sleep apnea. Knowing if you have sleep apnea and talking about it with your doctor is essential. It can help you better understand your condition and overall health.

  • Heart arrhythmias

The heart pumps blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the body. It has two upper chambers (atria) that receive and collect the blood and two lower chambers (ventricles) that pump the blood throughout the body.

A normal heart rhythm controls the movement of these two chambers smoothly so that all the blood gets to the right places at the right time without any problems. When a person has a problem with a heart rhythm, it is called an arrhythmia.

An arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat that is either too slow (bradycardia) or too fast (tachycardia). They can cause fainting, heart failure, or sudden death.

Most people with arrhythmias can live normal life. They may need to be careful about what they eat or drink and take medicines as their doctor advises.

  • Heart Attacks

Heart attacks are caused by the blockage of one or more coronary arteries. This happens due to plaque buildup in the arteries.

Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, discomfort, nausea, or vomiting. Lightheadedness, cold sweats, or clammy skin may also accompany them.

People with sleep apnea are predisposed to heart attacks. This is because the condition stresses the heart during abnormal breathing episodes.

  • Stroke

When plaque builds up in a blood vessel that supplies blood to your brain, it can cause an ischemic stroke. These clot-type strokes temporarily interrupt blood flow, and your body recovers without permanent damage.

Another form of stroke, called hemorrhagic stroke, happens when the blood vessels in the brain break and leak blood into surrounding tissue.

Stroke is a common health problem, and it is also a major cause of death worldwide. However, you can reduce its effects by getting enough quality sleep. It is also vital to visit a sleep clinic in 30253 for an assessment and proper treatment if you have poor sleeping habits.

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Visit Palmetto Family Dental for more information about sleep apnea and how to address or prevent it.

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