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Sleep Apnea and Your Heart

Man resting comfortably in bed with a CPAP sleep apnea machine strapped over his mouth and noseSleep apnea and obstructive breathing can cause significant harm to your body over time, but there is a direct correlation between sleep apnea and heart health. Patients with sleep apnea will have their REM sleep disrupted multiple times every night by the release of stress hormones from the brain. When this occurs repeatedly over a sustained period of time, this causes the body to put stress on the heart. This strain can result in high blood pressure or an increased risk of stroke.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder caused by throat tissue relaxing or collapsing during sleep. This obstructs the airway and restricts airflow to the lungs. The brain responds to a lack of oxygen by disturbing the sleep cycle just enough to allow the body to gasp for oxygen. Often, a person with sleep apnea is entirely unaware that they have this disorder, but they will experience noticeable symptoms such as dry mouth, headaches, irritability, or fatigue upon waking.

For the sake of your oral and overall health, our team at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates will work with you to ensure your body is getting the oxygen it needs while sleeping. We offer several surgical procedures and non-surgical appliances to help you protect your heart and achieve a sound sleep.

What Are My Options?

Most people who suspect they suffer from sleep apnea first choose to talk to their primary doctor. Your primary care physician can be a great resource, but most physicians have a limited number of solutions. Your family doctor may recommend either losing weight or using a CPAP machine. These options may provide relief in some cases, but our specialists will be able to present a much wider range of options and help determine what will work best for you.

If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, our team will begin diagnosing the causes and symptoms. This evaluation may include taking a sleep study. Once the primary issues have been determined, our surgeon will present a number of options designed to help alleviate the obstruction. If you do not see results with a non-surgical appliance, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Non-Surgical Options for Sleep Apnea

Outside of the common CPAP machine, there are a range of different devices that a patient can wear during sleep to help air reach the lungs. Our team offers sleep apnea retainers designed to hold the tongue during sleep. These retainers prevent the tongue from slipping back into the throat and do not require a breathing machine.

Another device known as a mandibular advancement device brings the bottom jaw forward, opening the airway.

Surgical Options for Sleep Apnea

In addition to our non-surgical appliances, you may be a candidate for having excess throat tissue surgically removed to prevent sleep apnea. Our surgeons are trained to offer several surgical treatment options for sleep apnea, and these procedures vary based on diagnosis.

Sleep apnea can be a frustrating and debilitating condition, resulting in both immediate and long-term health problems. For some patients, remedying these issues can be as simple as wearing a nightly retainer. Our team strives to allow you a sense of autonomy when selecting treatment options, and we aim to help you make educated decisions regarding treatment. For questions regarding sleep apnea, heart health, or scheduling an appointment, give us a call at 214-363-9946.

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