Almost 26 percent of all Americans are living with sleep apnea and only 10 percent are aware they have this condition. These numbers are concerning as sleep apnea can do more than just hinder sleep quality. It can cause heart complications and may eventually lead to a heart attack if it is left untreated.
Sleep apnea has been proven to make the blockages that cause heart attacks worse and force an individual to wake up hundreds of time throughout the night to gasp for air. It has also been shown to increase cholesterol and blood sugars and hurt metabolism.
When an individual has blockages, high cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and a poor metabolism, they are at high risk of a fatal heart attack. Lastly, sleep apnea releases a stress hormone, which may raise blood pressure and contribute to heart issues.
The good news, however, is that there are ways patients with sleep apnea can treat their condition and reduce their chances of developing a heart attack and serious conditions such as hypertension, stroke, atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, and pulmonary hypertension.
Here are some great tips on treating sleep apnea and protecting the heart, the most important organ in the body:
- Lose weight
- Exercise regularly
- Eat healthy
- Quit smoking
- Limit alcohol intake
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
- Visit a sleep apnea professional
- Try an oral appliance
Contact Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
If you have sleep apnea and are worried about your heart health, schedule an appointment with our sleep apnea specialists today. Call (703) 722-8353.