Romance or Heartache?
Is snoring keeping your partner at a distance?
For most couples, sharing a bed is one of the great joys of a long-term relationship. But for Tom and his partner, this had become impossible due to his loud snoring and untreated sleep apnea. Tom couldn’t accept sleeping at a distance and needed an option he could live with.
Each February, we recognize and celebrate two events: Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month. During this time, we celebrate the special people in our lives. We are also encouraged to pay attention to the risk factors for heart disease and make heart-healthy lifestyle changes. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, so this subject is worth taking seriously.
Sleep Apnea and Heart Health
The AHA notes a strong relationship between cardiovascular disease, blood pressure and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a condition characterized by complete and partial airway obstructions.
A typical sequence of OSA occurs when a person stops snoring and is silent for seconds or even minutes. The body’s oxygen level drops and the blood pressure rises. The heart is forced to beat faster. The brain may cause the body to jerk in an attempt to wake the sleeper so breathing will resume. The silence may end with a loud snort, cough or gasp. This causes the sleeper to wake briefly and begin breathing. Once asleep again, the muscles relax and the airway becomes blocked again. This cycle can occur hundreds of times per night.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, when apneas occur, the amount of oxygen in the blood can drop to below 60 percent. At the same time, blood pressure can soar as high as 240/130. The oxygen deprivation causes the heart to pump harder to support the extra effort of the lungs. This stress triggers the body to respond in ways that may promote high blood pressure, heart disease, and other cardiovascular complications.
A study from the journal SLEEP confirms the urgency of treating sleep apnea. Results show that people with severe, untreated sleep apnea have five times the risk of dying from a heart problem.
Treatment Options for OSA
There are a number of treatment options for OSA, including lifestyle changes, surgery, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and custom Dental Sleep Appliances.
While CPAP is the most frequently prescribed treatment, many patients find the equipment bulky, uncomfortable and inconvenient. The custom Dental Sleep Appliance for OSA has come to the forefront as a comfortable, convenient and scientifically-based treatment option. The purpose of the appliance is to hold the jaw in a position that allows the airway to remain as open and firm as possible during sleep. Oral appliances are similar to athletic mouth guards, but are less bulky and completely non-invasive.
Is snoring keeping your partner at a distance? Restore the romance and avoid the heartache. (doctor name) works closely with area physicians to provide comprehensive care for OSA. The custom Dental Sleep Appliance is covered by most medical insurances and Medicare. Koala Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders® offers options you can live with. Call us today for a consultation or visit our website and take care of your relationships and your heart!
For our reference only, in the sources section:
Sleep Education – Resource provided by AADSM “A study in the August 1 issue of the journal Sleep confirms the urgency of treating sleep apnea. Results show that people with severe, untreated sleep apnea have five times the risk of dying from a heart problem. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. There were more than 650,000 deaths from heart disease in 2005.”
SLEEP Volume 28, Issue 8, August 2005