Sleep apnea can cause all sorts of symptoms including morning headaches, restlessness, a lack of energy and concentration and even snoring. Studies have shown that because of the nature of sleep apnea, the disorder may have a negative impact on the cardiovascular system and contribute to heart attack and stroke.
Sleep apnea causes sufferers to stop breathing hundreds of times throughout the night. Each halt in breathing can last up to 30 seconds, if not longer. When breathing is stopped, the natural flow of oxygen throughout the body also pauses, which means that internally the body is starved of oxygen. A lack of oxygen causes the body to alert the brain to elevate stress hormone levels. When these hormone levels are increased, the heart has to work much harder which, over time, can weaken the heart which then makes one prone to stroke. In fact, men with untreated sleep apnea are at a three times higher risk of suffering from a stroke in their lifetime.
With this in mind, the doctors who conducted the studies hope to prove that through the use of effective sleep apnea treatment, the chance of having an unhealthy cardiovascular system can be decreased. When sleep apnea is treated properly patients will no longer experience pauses in breathing which means that the body should always have ample oxygen amounts.
Do you snore or wake up feeling tired? Has your spouse complained of inconsistent breathing when you sleep? Do you feel restless at night and find that your sleep is never consistent? If so, you may have sleep apnea. Snoring is a common condition linked to sleep apnea, and while not everyone who snores suffers from sleep apnea, it is a big warning sign. The only way to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea is to undergo some sort of sleep study.
If you are found to have sleep apnea, don’t worry! The next step to improving your quality of life is finding the right sleep apnea treatment. Dr. Lowrance can help if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. He is experienced in providing sleep apnea treatment alternatives to CPAP. Contact us today for a sleep apnea consultation.