Treat Sleep-Disordered Breathing to Protect the Heart

A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that individuals who experience sleep-related hypoxia may face a higher risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is a type of arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat.

Sleep-related hypoxia refers to a lack of oxygen within the body caused by sleep disorders that affect the ability to breathe, like obstructive sleep apnea. Patients with sleep apnea can experience brief collapses of the soft tissue at the back of the throat as the muscles relax during sleep. This will block the airway temporarily, which can affect both oxygen levels and stress reactions in the body.

According to this research, sleep apnea patients may be more likely to experience an abnormal heart rate. This can put them in danger of heart failure, strokes, blood clots, and other emergencies. Therefore, you should seek treatment for sleep apnea from experts like Dr. Frank Henrich without delay.

Dr. Henrich works with other healthcare providers, like ear, nose, and throat doctors, sleep doctors, and cardiologists, to provide the best care for patients. You can book a consultation at Henrich Dental Regenerative Medicine online or by phone at 918.553.5907. You may also read on to learn more about the importance of treating sleep apnea as soon as you can.

Treat Sleep-Disordered Breathing to Protect the Heart

The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Health

When you have sleep apnea, you can experience periodic cessations in your breathing during the night. You may snore or gasp awake as a result of this blockage in the airway.

While this usually does not result in an acute medical emergency, over time, sleep apnea can lead to a decrease in oxygen in the blood. This means that organs like the heart do not receive the oxygen they need to function properly. Ultimately, this may cause tissue damage. This damage to the heart can impact its ability to beat regularly, which may lead to AFib or other abnormalities.

The suddenness of a sleep apnea episode will also put strain on the body, particularly the cardiovascular system. As the body attempts to transport oxygen where it needs to go despite lower levels, blood pressure may rise.

The heart may need to pump harder as a result, heightening the chances of heart failure and other serious health problems. Long-term hypertension may change the structure of the heart and cause AFib too. You can reduce your chances of facing these issues when you address risk factors like sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Patients with mild and moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea can find relief from their symptoms with targeted treatment from a sleep dentistry expert. Your doctor may recommend using a CPAP machine. This is a device that features a mask worn over the nose or mouth that forces air into the airway while you sleep. But some patients would prefer a quieter or more comfortable way to address sleep apnea.

Dr. Henrich may recommend a steroid nasal spray. The medication can reduce minor swelling that might otherwise impede your ability to breathe through your nose at night. He may also suggest oral appliance therapy.

This treatment involves wearing a custom-made, mouthguard-like device in the mouth as you sleep. The oral appliance will keep your jaw in a position that prevents the collapse of tissue that would otherwise block the airway. Find the best sleep apnea treatment for your unique needs by contacting Dr. Henrich in Tulsa, OK today.