Sunday, February 13, 2011

What sleep apnea does to the heart?

Sleep apnea is becoming a growing problem in this country and it is probably due to obesity. It seems strange because at the same time the idea of living a healthy lifestyle and eating well-balanced meals are also getting a lot of press. One of the reasons is that as a population we are growing older and unfortunately fatter. Of course gaining weigh will bring on more sickness and more visits to the doctor’s office. And we all know about how high the cost of healthcare is today so anything to eliminate those doctors’ visits is a good thing. Everyone knows or are finding out that not dealing with sleep apnea can have a profound effect on your life. Less sleep can effect your personality as well as your general thought process but probably the biggest effect is what it does to your heart.

When you have sleep apnea there is a blockage in the back of your throat that causes you to stop breathing. The brain recognizes this lack of oxygen and forces you to awake. With those with sleep apnea this could happen as many as thirty times or more an hour in the worse cases. All that disruption of breathing can take a real toll on your heart. Without sleep apnea your heart pumps heart continuously, unfortunately if you have it this process is slowed down, causing your heart to get less oxygen, which it needs to function. Over a period of time this can increase your chances of heart disease and high blood pressure.

If you are able to use a CPAP then you can turn around this destructive pattern if that doesn’t work check with your doctor for other types of treatments.

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