Sleep disorder impacting heart health and overall well-being.
Snoring at night doesn’t always equate to sleep apnea and not everyone with sleep apnea snores. If you wake up fatigued or find it difficult to stay alert during the day, you might have sleep apnea. This condition affects your breathing and leads to other serious medical issues if left untreated.
People with sleep apnea often have one or more of the following - snoring, gasping for air or stopping breathing throughout the night, waking up feeling unrested, morning headaches, and tiredness and difficulty focusing during the day.
The diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea are important because not only can it lead to the symptoms above, but can also result in hypertension, inflammation, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type, is caused by the relaxation of your throat muscles to the point where your breathing is affected. If you can’t get enough air, or your airway closes completely, you will briefly wake up so that your airway reopens. This can be accompanied by snoring, gasping, or choking and can happen dozens of times each night, preventing you from achieving restful sleep. This also results in impaired oxygenation, inflammation, elevated blood pressure, and a higher risk of a cardiovascular event.
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, the first step is to conduct a sleep study. At Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates, we believe testing under real-life circumstances gives more valuable information which is why we coordinate our patients to have at-home sleep studies. Depending on the type and severity of sleep apnea, there may be several treatment options such as wearing CPAP or an oral appliance, surgery or changing sleep positioning.
Although treating sleep apnea is important for preventing other conditions, such as hypertension and heart attacks, at Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates we’ll also help you address the root cause of your sleep apnea, which can often be done with small sustained lifestyle changes.