Your sleep disorder could impact the health of your heart.
Many people who snore also have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes pauses in breathing throughout the night. Dr. Ahmet Sayan of Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, want patients to be aware of the dangers that untreated and uncontrolled sleep apnea can have on their heart health.
Why is sleep apnea so dangerous?
Obstructive sleep apnea causes the tissue in the back of the throat to collapse, which results in obstructed breathing throughout the night. This means that your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. Over time, untreated sleep apnea can impact your energy levels, mental acuity, and work performance. It can also lead to serious issues including high blood pressure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and heart disease.
How does sleep apnea impact the heart?
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the US. Between 40-80 percent of people with heart disease in the US also have obstructive sleep apnea. Furthermore, the American Heart Association reports that OSA impacts about 30-50 percent of people with hypertension and may increase the risk for atrial fibrillation.
With this in mind, your St. Thomas, or St. Croix, doctors want people with heart disease to get tested for obstructive sleep apnea to make sure that this sleep disorder isn’t making heart disease symptoms worse.
What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?
It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea so that you can turn to a sleep specialist right away. Some of the most common signs include:
- Loud snoring
- Frequent morning headaches
- Brain fog
- Extreme daytime fatigue despite getting enough sleep
- Increased irritability and mood swings
- Decreased sex drive
- Falling asleep at your desk
Here at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists, Dr. Sayan provides you with the care you need to protect the health of your heart while living with sleep apnea. We have offices in St. Thomas, or St. Croix. To schedule an appointment, call (340) 714-2845 or (340) 692-5000 today.