Affecting 116 million Americans (almost half of the U.S. population), high blood pressure is a known risk factor for stroke and heart disease. Hypertension can be well managed with lifestyle adjustments and even medications.  But if left untreated, it can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, along with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). 

What the numbers say

Here are some numbers for you to keep in mind. Approximately 30-40% of people with high blood pressure, and up to 85% of those with treatment-resistant high blood pressure, have sleep apnea. With those numbers, why wouldn’t you seek treatment? 

Research even shows that patients who receive treatment with oral appliance therapy for their sleep apnea experience reduced blood pressure. 

Here’s the sleep apnea connection

Untreated sleep apnea is dangerous. When sleep apnea goes untreated it can lead to a variety of comorbidities that include a number of health conditions. From increased risk of cardiovascular disease to diabetes, comorbidities of sleep apnea are nothing to be ignored. 

OSA can contribute to high blood pressure in people who have it due to the frequency of waking up at nighttime. Because of this, hormonal systems go into overdrive, which results in high blood pressure levels. The sudden drops in blood-oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea episodes increase blood pressure and place a strain on your cardiovascular system. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, and could be at risk for a health complication, contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information. With proper screening and treatment, you can take steps toward improving your health and sleep apnea.