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.
“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