Sleep Apnea Increases the Risk of Heart Failure

man snoring in bed

An estimated 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, many of whom may not even realize it. This sleep disorder causes constant disruptions while you are sleeping that prevent you from getting the rest you need, affecting your heart.

Due to the serious health consequences of sleep apnea, our Tulsa dentist strongly encourages any patients experiencing sleep apnea symptoms to get tested, diagnosed, and treated to reduce their risk.

The Signs of Sleep Apnea

Before it’s too late and you suffer from a heart attack or other serious health consequences from having untreated sleep apnea, it’s important to recognize the different symptoms and warning signs of sleep apnea so you know when to get tested. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Mood problems
  • Loud snoring
  • Feeling tired during the day
  • Choking, coughing throughout the night
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Memory problems
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Going to the bathroom repeatedly at night

If you experience one or more of the symptoms listed above, please book an appointment with our Tulsa dentist at (918) 528-3330 at your earliest convenience.

How To Get Diagnosed

Recognizing and acknowledging your sleep apnea symptoms is the first step towards successful treatment. Next, you will visit our dental office for an evaluation. After talking with Dr. Hodges, if she believes you might have sleep apnea, she will refer you to a sleep clinic or home sleep testing service to take your sleep test. A sleep test is absolutely necessary to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea.

Fortunately, with home sleep testing, you can take the test from the comfort of your own bed. After taking the sleep test, a physician will review your sleep data and determine whether or not you have sleep apnea. If you do have sleep apnea, they will be in contact with Dr. Hodges to discuss your treatment options.

Sudden Cardiac Death Vs. Heart Attack

Heart attacks are not the same as sudden cardiac death (also known as cardiac arrest). A heart attack is caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart. Symptoms such as chest pain, sleep disruption, and difficulty breathing may appear several weeks before a heart attack strikes. The heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack but is unable to pump oxygen-rich blood to the brain and other parts of the body. Sudden cardiac death occurs when your heart malfunctions and stops beating. The brain stops receiving oxygen-rich blood when the heart stops, resulting in a loss of consciousness. This condition is fatal if not treated within minutes.

Sleep Apnea and Sudden Cardiac Death

When you stop breathing throughout the night, your blood will not contain enough oxygen to deliver throughout your body. As a result, your blood oxygen saturation will drop. The higher number of sleep disruptions that you experience per hour, the lower your blood oxygen saturation. A study found that patients with a blood oxygen saturation as low as 78 percent were 80 percent more likely to experience sudden cardiac death.

Other Health Complications of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea doesn’t just lead to a heart attack or sudden cardiac death, it can also result in other health complications including:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Worsening of ADHD
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Asthma
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Weakened immune system
  • Mental confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal cholesterol
  • Acid reflux

Nearly 47% to 83% of all people with cardiovascular disease also have sleep apnea. Additionally, nearly 35% of people with high blood pressure have sleep apnea, and 12% to 53% of people with heart failure, or atrial fibrillation also have sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Tulsa, OK May Decrease Your Risk of Heart Attack and Other Health Complications

Snoring, often considered a comical and normal sleep function, is a common indication of sleep apnea. If you snore, you may benefit from having a professional sleep evaluation to determine whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea.

After your sleep test, Dr. Hodges can help choose the best sleep apnea treatment for you. Our dental office provides custom-fitted oral appliances. Oral appliances are comfortable and convenient to use, unlike CPAP. The oral appliance treats your sleep apnea by holding your jaw open to allow air to easily pass through. It sits comfortably in your mouth like a night guard and doesn’t require any annoying hoses, or uncomfortable mask, or a loud machine to effectively treat your sleep apnea.

CPAP has an average compliance rate of less than 50% after three months which means, most patients are not receiving the life-saving treatment they need. However, with oral appliances, compliance is at an average 95% rate. Oral appliances, therefore, are the best choice for compliance and reducing health complications.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of oral appliances for sleep apnea treatment, please contact us at (918) 528-3330 for an appointment today.

Best Cosmetic Dentist Tulsa Dr Meghan Hodges

élan Tulsa Cosmetic Dentistry

10031 S Yale Ave #104
Tulsa, OK 74137

Request Appointment