Sleep Apnea & Hypertension in Weatherford
If you wake up tired in the morning, then the problem may not be the late night shows you watch or your smartphone. You may, in fact, have a chronic condition called sleep apnea, which temporarily halts breathing during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea happens because your brain fails to signal your breathing muscles, and obstructed sleep apnea, which occurs when your tongue and other soft tissue in your throat block your airway. The more common of the two is obstructed sleep apnea, but both can have serious short- and long-term health consequences.
One of the long-term consequences is hypertension, more often called high blood pressure. Research indicates that people with sleep apnea are at greater risk of developing high blood in the future.
Connection between Sleep Apnea & High Blood Pressure
When your breathing stops as a result of sleep apnea, the oxygen level in your body decreases. When this happens, the nervous system alerts your brain and messages travel back through your nerves notifying blood vessels to constrict. As a result of this constriction, blood flow and oxygen to the heart, brain and other vital organs increases.
The problem is that this doesn’t only happen at night when you have an episode of sleep apnea; the pattern tends to continue during the daytime, too. The constant constriction of blood vessels is what doctors and scientists believe leads to high blood pressure in people with sleep apnea.
Treating Sleep Apnea Using an Intraoral Appliance
At Weatherford Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Romack can often effectively treat obstructed sleep apnea with an intraoral appliance. This device is custom-fitted to your bite and rests comfortably in your mouth while you sleep. An intraoral appliance gently holds your lower jaw slightly forward in order to prevent your tongue and other soft tissue from collapsing back against your airway and blocking your breath. With free and easy breathing, you are able to get a restful night of sleep and possibly avoid the development of high blood pressure.
If you would like more information on sleep apnea, high blood pressure or any of the other health issues that can develop as a result of this chronic condition, please contact the office of Weatherford Dental Sleep Medicine.