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.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sleep Apnea and the Risk for Heart Problems

February is American Heart Month, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other organizations have been highlighting the risks of heart disease and offering tips for better heart health. One key area of focus related to cardiovascular health is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Among the many dangers of sleep apnea are heightened risks for:

  • Heart attack
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke

Likewise, people with sleep apnea or heart conditions often share risk factors including:

  • Being overweight
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having diabetes

Although it is estimated that more than 20 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, many people with sleep apnea are not aware they have a form of this potentially deadly condition. Many sleep apnea symptoms, such as chronic snoring or frequent sleep interruptions, go unnoticed or ignored by those suffering from OSA.

Often, it is up to a partner or other family member to encourage a loved one to seek diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of dentists who specialize in the field of dental sleep medicine and a growing number of treatments.

Many instances of sleep apnea can be treated with custom-made oral appliances similar to sports mouthguards. These devices are designed to help keep your jaw in proper alignment as you sleep in order to help you maintain an open airway.

If you would like to learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate a qualified sleep dentist in your area.

posted by Steve at 12:44 PM