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.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Treatment of OSA Can Benefit Heart Health

Patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) often have enlarged and thickened hearts that do not pump as effectively as healthy hearts. OSA is a common sleep-related breathing disorder that has been linked to an increase risk of cardiac problems. People with sleep apnea may stop breathing for several seconds at a time hundreds of times during a night's sleep. There are many other symptoms associated with this life-threatening disorder including:

Fatigue
Anxiety
Depression
High blood pressure
Gastric reflux
Memory problems
Concentration problems
Diabetes
Dry throat
Impotence
Cognitive deterioration

In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, it was found that, "Not only are the shape and size of the heart affected, the right side of the heart was dilated and the heart muscle on the left side was thicker in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Treating the problem brought significant improvements in the affected parameters, as well as in symptoms, in a relatively short period of time of six months," according to Dr. Bharati Shivalkar.

There are treatments for OSA besides CPAP. Dr. Ira Shapira, a Gurnee, Illinois dentist, has treated countless patients with OSA with great success using oral appliances, behavioral changes, and medication. CPAP is not for everyone as it can be very uncomfortable and inconvenient.

If you or your partner suffers from OSA, please contact Dr. Ira Shapira in Gurnee, Illinois today to schedule a thorough evaluation.

posted by Lynn at 6:57 AM