Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sleep Apnea Increases Chance of Stroke

If you have sleep apnea or someone you know suffers from this condition, you may know the dangers associated with this common, but very dangerous, sleep and breathing disorder. Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition in which the sufferer stops breathing while he sleeps. The cessation of breathing can go on for several seconds and can occur several hundred times each night. Each sleep apnea patient Dr. Ira Shapira sees in his Gurnee, Illinois dental office presents with a unique combination of symptoms. The most common symptoms sleep apneics suffer are:

Daytime sleepiness
Fatigue
Gastric reflux
Memory problems
Concentration problems
Sore throat
Dry mouth
Depression
Anxiety

One of the most serious problems sleep apnea can lead to is stroke. A study conducted by the American Thoracic Society International Conference showed that people with moderate to severe sleep apnea were 3 to 4 times more likely to have a stroke than people without sleep apnea. The study did not follow those with mild sleep apnea. Moderate to severe sleep apnea, for purposes of this study, was defined as breathing stopping or slowing at least twenty times per hour of sleep.

One reason why sleep apnea may increase your chance of a stroke is that this condition increases your blood pressure; hypertension is the most common risk factor for stroke. For this reason, it is very important to have your sleep apnea treated.

If you live in the Chicago, Illinois area and suffer from sleep apnea (or your partner does), please contact Dr. Ira Shapira today to schedule a thorough evaluation.

posted by Lynn at 6:58 AM