Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure: Risks and Complications
If you suffer from sleep apnea, there’s a very good chance you may also have high blood pressure (hypertension). Sleep apnea prevents your body from breathing properly while sleeping. When this happens, your body and brain cannot get enough oxygen to function correctly. Your heart begins to work harder to get oxygen, causing hypertension.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has always been closely associated with high blood pressure. That’s why treating sleep apnea can be the first step to lowering hypertension. Sleep apnea treatments vary from using a CPAP machine to lifestyle changes to oral appliances.
At the Encino Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders, we offer comprehensive treatment and education for sleep apnea. When patients understand what factors can put them at risk, and what health matters may arise, we can all be better prepared to treat OSA.
In addition to sleep apnea, other factors that can put a patient at risk for high blood pressure include:
- Excessive weight
- Poor diet
- Taking cold medicine
- Lack of exercise
Many of these factors can be easily remedied. Taking steps such as quitting smoking and improving your diet can not only improve your high blood pressure but improve your overall health as well.
Consequences of High Blood Pressure
Without intervention, high blood pressure can cause serious health risks such as:
- Heart complications such as heart disease and heart attacks
- Chronic Kidney disease
- Preeclampsia, if pregnant
- Eye damage
What can be done to prevent high blood pressure? And what can be done to treat it once hypertension has been diagnosed? The first step is to eliminate your risk factors. Our sleep dentist, Dr. Simmons, may recommend certain steps to minimize your OSA symptoms.
Some of these steps include:
- Weight loss
- Improved Diet
- Refraining from tobacco or alcohol products
- CPAP treatment
- Sleep positioning
- Oral appliance treatment
Once those steps have been taken, you may be referred to a cardiologist to help prevent any further damage.
Your Sleep Powers Your Mind and Body
You need sleep. Without it, both your brain and body suffer. At the Encino Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders, we know what a diagnosis can do for someone. If you think you may have sleep apnea, contact our Encino office at (818) 300-0070 to schedule a consultation.