When was the last time you woke up well rested? Has it been a while? We understand that snoring can get a little annoying, especially for someone listening to it. However, if the snorer frequently stops breathing for brief moments throughout the night, it might be a sign of sleep apnea. And, as a result, this can lead to cardiovascular problems that is potentially life threatening.

What is Sleep Apnea?

A person with sleep apnea may experience pauses in breathing five to 30 times per hour or more during sleep. When these episodes occur, a person may not wake up.  However, if you do wake up during these episodes, you might gasp for air.  As a result, sleep apnea prevents you from getting restful sleep each night and can be associated with:

  • High blood pressure
  • Arrhythmia
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure

These are all conditions that are preventable with proper care and lifestyle changes. Without proper treatment, you are opening up the chance for further complications.

The Connection

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in American while stroke is the fourth cause and a leading cause of disability while high blood pressure is a major risk factor for both.  The connection between sleep apnea and heart disease is evolving rapidly.  Whether sleep apnea actually causes heart disease is still unclear, but we do know if you have sleep apnea today, the chance of developing hypertension in the future increases significantly. With such a strong connection between sleep apnea and heart failure, it is important to visit Dr. Bonnie Foster once you have diagnosed with sleep apnea—she can provide proper treatment that can help prevent further health complications.

Contact our Warrenton, VA office for more information on sleep apnea and how we can help prevent further health complications through the availability of oral appliance therapy.