February is heart month. February is when we have our hearts checked and when we commit ourselves to heart-healthy living.
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. On the positive side, there are many ways to reduce our risk of heart disease, and one of the easiest is to get tested and treated for sleep apnea.
Evidence continues to show a close relationship between heart disease, including hypertension, and sleep apnea. When oxygen levels decrease during sleep, blood pressure spikes. This high blood pressure can then carry into the day. But with the use of sleep breathing therapies, such as CPAP or oral appliance, blood pressure is shown to go back down at night AND during the day. 1
A study by the American Heart Association also found that moderate to severe sleep apnea changes the heart’s shape and function, similar to hypertension. Left unchecked, these changes to the heart can be precursors for heart failure. This same study also found that with 6-monthes of CPAP therapy, sleep apnea patient’s returned to near-normal heart shape and function.2
February is the ideal time to see a physician for heart health concerns, including sleep apnea symptoms. And for those with untreated sleep apnea, now is the time to start therapy to avoid heart disease. If you would like information on testing for sleep apnea or treatment with an oral appliance, please contact us at 1-877-933-9470.