How Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease are Linked

How Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease are Linked

May 1, 2023

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes the cessation of breathing at different intervals while asleep. Due to the stoppage of breathing, the person’s brain involuntarily wakes them up to ensure air gets to the lungs and brain. This action makes the person wake up exhausted and sleepy throughout the day. Other than these effects, sleep apnea is linked to heart disease. This piece will explain how sleep apnea and heart disease are linked in detail.

Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

It is essential to note that heart disease is the prime cause of death in the United States. Certain behaviors can increase the risk of heart disease. Some of these behaviors include drinking too much alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and eating an unhealthy diet. Health conditions like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and harmful cholesterol levels can also increase the risk of heart complications.

Furthermore, failing to go for sleep apnea treatment in Irvine can significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart arrhythmias risk. Research also shows that people with sleep apnea are 2-4 times more likely to develop abnormal heart rhythms than people without the disorder. O

Does Obesity Increase the Risk of Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease?

Usually, people who are obese get high blood pressure problems. Patients who suffer from high blood pressure are at risk of developing heart complications. Therefore, when you’re obese, you develop fat tissues in the breathing airways preventing the continued air supply to the heart and other organs. This can lead to sleep apnea and hypoxia. So, it is safe to safe when you’re obese and have sleep apnea; the chances of developing a heart complication are higher.

When you go for sleep apnea treatment near you, the dentist in Irvine will advise you to exercise regularly to keep your weight in check and reduce the number of times you wake up at night due to the disorder.

How Are Sleep Deprivation and Heart Disease Related?

As discussed earlier, sleep apnea causes you to wake up involuntarily throughout the night to get sufficient air. This causes you to feel sleepy during the day and exhausted. So, are these symptoms linked with heart disease?

It is essential to note that sleep plays a vital role in our overall health. Sleep allows your brain and body to rest in readiness for the next day. So, when you’re asleep, your blood pressure and heart rate drop as breathing is stabilized.

When you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, your body is sleep deprived, which means your cardiovascular system does not get sufficient recovery time. Failure to go for sleep apnea treatment may lead to chronic sleep deprivation, and it is linked to hypertension, stroke, heart attacks, and heart disease.

What Are the Effects of Sleep Apnea on Your Cardiovascular System?

Now that you know that sleep apnea can increase the risk of heart problems, sleeping disorders can also affect the whole cardiovascular system. Here are ways that sleep apnea affects your cardiovascular system:

Oxidative Stress

Sleep apnea leads to repetitive stoppage and continual breathing. These movements throughout the night, where there is a lack of sufficient oxygen to the lungs, heart, and other organs, can cause stress on the body, referred to as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can increase the risk of heart disease.

Changes in Pressure Within Your Chest

A person who has obstructive sleep apnea struggles to breathe throughout the night. If it’s unsuccessful, forced inhalations may cause significant changes in pressure within the chest cavity. Failure to go for treatment means there will be repetitive changes in the intrathoracic pressure, which can lead to atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and issues with blood flow to the heart.

Activating The Sympathetic Nervous System

Sleep apnea causes cessation of breathing, leading to reduced blood oxygen levels. When the body is deprived of oxygen, it triggers the chemoreceptors to activate the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn wakes the person up from sleep to gasp for air.

The lack of oxygen also triggers the sympathetic nervous system to constrict the blood vessels, which leads to increased blood pressure and heart rate. As the cessation of breathing continues overnight, the changes in blood pressure may lead to high pressure or worsen it.

Sleep apnea can significantly affect your life and overall health. This is why routine dental checkups are recommended, as the dentist at Premium Dental may identify signs of the disorder and limit its effects on your health. Why don’t you schedule your next dental appointment today?