Sleep Apnea Can Harm Your Brain & Heart

added on: March 18, 2012

Sleep apnea means more than just snoring and sleep disruption. It has the potential to have life-threatening effects on the brain and cardiovascular system.

During periods of apnea, there are intervals that cause interruptions in sleep without completely awakening you. This means some people are unaware that they have sleep apnea. Typically, people with sleep apnea snore and partially awaken gasping and choking in order to inhale sufficient oxygen. This vicious cycle of sleeping-gasping-waking could be occurring up to hundreds of times per night.

These decreases in oxygen levels cause increased blood pressure and stress on the cardiovascular system. About half of those with sleep apnea develop hypertension, which increases the risk of stroke and heart failure.

For people with more than 20 episodes of apnea per night, they have a higher risk of death from abnormal heart rhythms, strokes, and heart attacks. For those who have pre-existing heart disease, recurrent episodes of decreased blood oxygen can cause sudden death.
Because of the tremendous risks of sleep apnea, we offer sleep appliances that are small and comfortable, unlike the cumbersome CPAP. These are customized to each person’s unique structural makeup and enable people with mild to moderate sleep apnea to get a good night’s sleep without the effects of sleep apnea.

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, call our office for a free consultation so your options can be discussed.