Sleep On The Link Between Sleep Apnea And Blood Pressure

An estimated 25 million U.S. adults suffer from sleep apnea, which is a life-threatening sleep disorder where a person regularly stops breathing or their breathing becomes so limited that their blood oxygen levels plummet while they’re asleep. With each apnea they experience, their blood pressure drops and their heart rate declines. But once they start to breathe again, both their blood pressure and heart rate rapidly soar. This sudden shift can result in high blood pressure, which affects around one-third of sleep apnea sufferers. But a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that treating sleep apnea can lead to lower blood pressure. At MD Now, we strive to keep you healthy and aware of the latest medical discoveries. That’s why we couldn’t rest until we shared these findings on how treating the serious sleep disorder may improve both sleep apnea and high blood pressure.

The Scientific Awakening

The scientific study examined two sleep apnea treatments. The most common was CPAP, which has a person wear a mask to bed that pushes air into the airways throughout the night. The other treatment was MAD, which has a person wear a special kind of mouth guard that holds their jaw and tongue forward to open up their airways and provide more space to breathe.

For the study, researchers compared the blood pressure levels of patients using CPAP or MAD treatments against the blood pressure levels of sleep apnea patients using either a placebo treatment or doing without treatment. Their analysis showed a direct link between sleep apnea and blood pressure, with people who use either CPAP or MAD treatments experiencing an overall decline in blood pressure. And even though CPAP is prescribed more often, there was no substantial difference in blood pressure decreases for CPAP users compared to MAD users. These findings clearly showed that these treatments may improve both sleep apnea and high blood pressure.

Wake Up to the Benefits of Treating Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea causes stress and distress for both sufferers and their families. It can lead to:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Constant fatigue
  • Poor performance at school and work
  • Excessive snoring
  • Greater risk of metabolic problems
  • Increased chance of insulin resistance
  • Obesity
  • Difficulty functioning during the day

But as this study shows, receiving treatment for the sleep disorder may make a healthy difference in both sleep apnea and blood pressure. If you suffer from sleep apnea and have been concerned about your blood pressure, it may be worthwhile open your eyes to treatment.

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