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, December 20, 2013

How Sleep Apnea Affects Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, medically known as hypertension. If you’re seeking sleep apnea treatment and also suffer from high blood pressure, a sleep physician can help assess your condition and determine options for recovering your health and your rest.

Blood pressure measurements consist of two numbers: systolic and diastolic. The systolic level measures blood pressure within arteries when the heart beats, while diastolic measures artery pressure when the heart is at rest. Blood pressure is defined as follows:
  • Systolic below 120 and diastolic below 80 (measured in millimeters of mercury, or mm Hg) is normal
  • 140-159 systolic or 80-89 diastolic is a warning sign of high blood pressure, also called prehypertension
  • Systolic over 140 mm Hg or diastolic over 100 mm Hg is considered high blood pressure, with higher measurements representing increased risk to your health
By obstructing breathing, sleep apnea can drastically reduce oxygen levels within the blood during sleep. In addition to putting stress on the heart and the rest of the cardiovascular system, less oxygen in the blood also increases the risk of high blood pressure.

However, the fluctuation in oxygen levels caused by sleep apnea is just one element that can contribute to the risk of hypertension. Other risk factors include:
  • Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption or smoking
  • Stress
  • Genetic predisposition to high blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
Because of the potential complications, it’s important to seek treatment for high blood pressure as soon as possible. Your doctor might recommend sleep apnea treatment, lifestyle changes or other options customized to the unique circumstances concerning your health.

To learn more about sleep apnea treatment options, please contact a sleep doctor in your area or call 1-866-727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today to schedule an initial evaluation.

posted by Admin at 6:32 AM