Sleep Apnea treatment can protect against Heart Failure

Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that causes pauses in breathing while sleeping. According to a new study published in Circulation: Heart Failure, a journal of the American Heart Association, when sleep apnea becomes more severe it may cause changes in the heart’s shape and function. These problems are very similar to the ones related to hypertension.

The fix?

“In trying to find a treatment for people with sleep apnea, primarily to allow them a good night’s sleep, researchers discovered that the improved breathing at night, provided by a device known as “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure” (CPAP), which is essentially a mask that fits over the nose and holds the airway open to prevent snoring and all out airway obstruction common in more severe sleep apnea, had other benefits.

It appears that after six months of treatment with the CPAP, once proper breathing and sleep was restored, the negative heart conditions were rectified in healthy patients that only suffered from Sleep Apnea.”

The CPAP mask (pictured) looks a bit scary, but whatever aesthetic issues you have with it can easily be put aside with the knowledge that it could protect against heart failure. If you have sleep apnea, talk to your physician to find a solution that’s right for you.

Source: Medical News Today

About Sherman Health

Sherman Health has provided medical care to Northern IL since 1888, and is currently home to a network of over 600 physicians. The Sherman blogs are edited by me, Luke. Questions? Comments? Links? Email address is luke at shermanhealth dot com.
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One Response to Sleep Apnea treatment can protect against Heart Failure

  1. Lorne says:

    I got diagnosed with severe sleep apnea in November ’11 and started using a CPAP machine in early December. The mask is definitely a pain, and wearing it takes a bit of getting used to (additionally, your significant other has to get used to sleeping beside “Darth Vadar”). However, 5 months since I started wearing this thing, I sleep through the night without any trouble, and I will not sleep without it – that’s how much difference this has made. It’s not just cardiovascular benefits either; as someone with severe sleep apnea, wearing the CPAP mask has boosted my immune system, reduced aches and pains and made me much more productive.

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