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Sleep apnea is linked to various heart diseases

Sleep apnea is linked to various heart diseases

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is increasingly on the agenda. Even so, there are still many questions related to it. This obstructive disorder of the upper airways (that is, between the tip of the nose and the trachea, which comes immediately before the bronchi and lungs). When people fall asleep, the musculature of part of this region relaxes and obstructs the passage of air to the lungs in the inspiration, as well as the exit of the air. People with sleep apnea often complain of unrefreshing sleep (feeling sick at night), difficulty concentrating, and this situation of chronic stress can manifest itself in the body causing illnesses

Chronic stress caused by apnea can manifest itself in the body causing serious diseases, including those that affect the cardiovascular system.

A good example is high blood pressure, which can be caused and worsened by the development of sleep apnea. Another problem that is linked to sleep apnea is sudden cardiac death and not cardiac death. It has been proven that the chances of sudden death are greater in patients with untreated apnea than in patients without apnea or in treatment.

Cardiac arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation, may even disappear when the patient begins apnea treatment. Otherwise, patients with apnea and atrial fibrillation need more remedies to control, are less successful in catheter ablation and are more symptomatic. Patients with atrial fibrillation who receive shocks to return to normal rhythm are less successful and return to the irregular rhythm faster.

Some other diseases are linked to apnea in a still unclear way. Obesity, for example, is related to apnea, but it is not yet known why excess weight can be caused or worsened by the presence of this sleep disorder. Earlier the only treatment was tracheostomy, a surgical procedure in the neck that establishes an artificial orifice in the trachea. But today, various treatment modalities (such as non-invasive ventilation, foot reduction maneuvers and even surgeries) are available. Consult your ENT in case of suspected apnea. No matter how much it seems exaggerated, snoring can kill if not treated.


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