Sleep Apnea and Congestive Heart Failure

Studies are being done on the relationship between sleep apnea and congestive heart failure. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea may suffer damage to the right side of their heart since it has to pump harder in order to support the added effort of their lungs attempting to overcome the airway obstruction. A test was done on forty-two patients with heart conditions. Nearly half of these patients had severe sleep apnea that had not been diagnosed prior to the study.

Sleep apnea is a major health syndrome affecting millions of people. Up to 95% of these people do not know that they have it and may never know. There is effective treatment for apnea but many people may find it difficult to find the appropriate qualified medical care. Sleep apnea is the frequent stoppage of a persons breathing which relaxed tissues in the throat cause during sleep. Snoring occurs by vibrations of the relaxed throat tissues and is usually the precursor for apnea. Heavy snorers and people who have pauses in their breathing could be at risk for heart disease. Sleep apnea and congestive heart failure may also be behind many traffic deaths of people over forty. The most serious cases of untreated sleep apnea patients have an increased chance of having a fatal traffic accident.

A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, which helps people with sleep apnea, may also help people with coronary artery disease that experience their blood oxygen lowering during disordered breathing during sleep. Congestive heart failure affects approximately 2.5 million Americans. A study was done with several obese patients who had both sleep apnea and congestive heart failure were treated with a CPAP machine. This treatment resulted in the patients developing an increase in energy, less fatigue and lower blood pressure. These patients also experienced a more positive outlook due to the treatments results. cpap masks

The National Center for Sleep Disorders Research is examining whether there is a relationship between sleep apnea and congestive heart failure along with high blood pressure and chest pain. Some researchers have suggested that apnea may cause heart problems.

It is possible that central apnea can cause high blood pressure, surges of adrenaline and irregular heart beats. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send a signal to breathe. It is not caused by obstruction or snoring.

Sleep apnea sufferers have a higher risk of death than the rest of the population. Problems include sleep apnea and congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke, depression and as mentioned before death due to accidents. The sleep apnea sufferer’s family has a difficult time dealing with the illness. Other issues outside of home are affected such as difficulties at work caused by constant sleep problems.

In conclusion, people with sleep apnea and congestive heart failure should consider treating their sleep apnea might just help their chances of surviving heart disease. Sleep apnea is long overdue for more attention; it is the second leading cause of daytime fatigue after insomnia. Getting a poor sleep is a major health problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

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