According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, approximately 25 million adults in the United States have sleep apnea. In this disorder, an individual frequently stops breathing while they are sleeping. Sleep apnea has a significant impact on both high and low blood pressure. Let’s take a closer look at why this is.
Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure
When an individual has sleep apnea, they face breathing pauses while they are sleeping. When this happens, their blood oxygen levels decrease and add strain to their cardiovascular system. In those without sleep apnea, blood pressure levels drop by 10 to 20 percent during sleep. However, individuals with sleep apnea experience irregular heart rate, causing adrenaline to be released into the bloodstream and raising blood pressure.
Sleep Apnea and Low Blood Pressure
While many individuals are aware of the correlation between high blood pressure and sleep apnea, some may not understand how low blood pressure and sleep apnea are related. Several years ago, a doctor from Stanford University found that low blood pressure does in fact correspond with sleep apnea.
This is because when someone has low blood pressure, they have negative pressure that builds up in the chest cavity and the diaphragm or the motor of the body that transfers air into the lungs, does not get the air into the body because of an obstruction.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Fortunately, treating sleep apnea can lead to healthy blood pressure levels and reduce an individual’s risk of developing a serious heart condition. There are a variety of treatments that may help a sleep apnea patient enjoy a better night’s sleep and keep their blood pressure and heart in tip-top shape. Some of these treatments include:
- Sleep apnea exercises
- Weight loss
- Frequent exercise
- CPAP devices
- Oral devices
- Surgery in rare cases
Contact Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
If you’d like to improve your blood pressure and treat your sleep apnea, reach out to our sleep apnea specialists by calling (703) 722-8353 today.