#ItsMoreThanSnoring Sleep Apnea and its Devastating Effects to Your Heart!

In the first article of the #ItsMoreThanSnoring campaign, we explored just what sleep apnea is, and why it’s something that shouldn’t be treated lightly. If you are unaware of what sleep apnea is, please visit this link.
Where can sleep apnea really cause a problem for people? Their hearts!
“Having untreated sleep apnea is medically equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day in terms of what it does to your health,” says Jerome Siegel, Ph.D. and Director of the Center for Sleep Research at UCLA’s Department of Psychiatry, about sleep apnea in relation to heart health.
We all know the extremely strong link between smoking cigarettes daily and heart disease. It’s quite startling that having untreated sleep apnea is akin to smoking so many cigarettes.
Currently, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. According to Harvard Medical School, sleep apnea is found in 47% to 83% of people with cardiovascular disease, 35% of people with high blood pressure and 12% to 53% of people with heart failure.
“Over time, OSA exposes the heart and circulation to harmful stimuli that may cause or contribute to the progression of most cardiovascular diseases,” says Dr. Atul Malhotra, associate professor at Harvard Medical School.
When you stop breathing, your oxygen levels drop. Your body then releases a stress hormone called epinephrine, or adrenaline, which can lead to high blood pressure.
Many of Americans live a lifestyle that can have adverse effects on the heart, whether it be smoking, drinking, lack of exercise or poor diet, so it’s no surprise that Americans are leading the way to heart disease. Sleeping is something that we MUST do, and if during sleep you are further damaging your heart due to untreated sleep apnea, the risk of heart disease dramatically increases. The number of heart related problems people experience could be greatly reduced if more people were aware of the affects that their untreated sleep apnea could have on it.
Please share this information if you know someone who is suffering with heart problems and could also be suffering from sleep apnea.  The goal of this campaign is to increase the awareness of this potentially life-threatening condition.
Here at Novi Dental Sleep Medicine we put a special focus on treating patients who are currently suffering from sleep apnea. Please contact us if you or someone you know is dealing with this condition.

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