Sleep Apnea: Give Your Heart A Rest

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Chicago, IL, April 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Adult obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is more than a breathing condition. Moderate to severe adult sleep apnea makes you more susceptible to illness, such as heart disease and lung disorders, and can lead to emotional distress. Driven by personal experience, Chicago sleep apnea expert, Dr. Brian Rotskoff, does more than help patients sleep. His efforts are improving their overall health, quality of life, and just maybe, longevity.

"A lot of patients suspect they have sleep apnea but avoid official diagnosis and treatment," Dr. Rotskoff says. "In reality, the nocturnal sleep study and CPAP machine are minor hurdles on the way to life-changing results." Dr. Rotskoff also specializes in childhood obstructive sleep apnea, pediatric nasal congestion, and asthma.

Adult OSA is caused by excess weight or pressure on the chest that blocks airflow. Snoring can be an indicator of apnea, but it's not the only symptom. Patients with true OSA actually stop breathing during sleep, often gasping for air and waking themselves. Sleep apnea is diagnosed on a scale, typically measured in five to 30 breathing pauses per hour.

"Patients who snore still inhale and exhale, but a person with apnea stops breathing repeatedly throughout the night making it impossible to get adequate rest," says Dr. Rotskoff. "Even less severe cases affect health and daytime functioning."

Sleep apnea risk factors, causes, and effects are closely linked to heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. Experts agree that OSA and poor cardiovascular health create a continuous cycle of heart problems and sleep disruption. When the body is deprived of oxygen the brain orders blood vessels to shrink, pushing the limited supply to the heart and brain. The body becomes accustom to the change, causing a chronic condition.

Fast facts about sleep apnea and heart disease:

  • One in five adults have some degree of sleep apnea
  • Sleep apnea affects women more than men
  • Obesity is a major risk factor for OSA, heart disease, and stroke
  • Sleep apnea can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure)

Sleep apnea treatment - the CPAP machine

Often the first line of treatment, the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine involves a mask worn during sleep to introduce air pressure and keep airways open. "The mask has somewhat of a negative reputation," acknowledges Dr. Rotskoff. "It takes getting used to, but it works." Studies indicate that long-term use of the CPAP may reduce the risk of hypertension.

Alternate therapies include the use of oral devices or even sleep apnea jaw surgery. Dr. Rotskoff works with dentists who specialize in OSA treatment for a combined approach.

Don't wait; find out more about controlling your sleep apnea and improving your heart health at Clarity Allergy Center in Chicago or Arlington Heights, 773-877-3500.

Source: Clarity Allergy Center