Sleep apnea is the most common form of Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). It is caused by a narrowing or collapse of throat tissue during sleep, causing blood-oxygen levels to plummet. The body responds by sending out a flood of hormonal emergency signals which over time can take a toll on the sympathetic nervous system.
You may wonder why a cardiology practice would be concerned about sleep apnea. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that sleep apnea increases the risk for high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and stroke. In addition, the effects of sleep deprivation can lead to a significantly increased risk of work-related injuries and serious car accidents.
Sleep Research Statistics
- 80% of uncontrolled high blood pressure patients suffer from Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB).
- 50% of congestive heart failure patients suffer from SDB.
- 45% of high blood pressure patients suffer from SDB.
- 30% of coronary artery disease patients suffer from SDB.
The good news is that once identified, SDB can be easily treated. A number of treatment options are available that can improve quality of life. Several of our Heart & Lung Institute Pulmonologists also specialize in Sleep Medicine. To help diagnose a sleep disorder, our sleep specialists may recommend a sleep study which is an overnight study performed in a lab. These studies allow the doctor to determine they type of sleep disorder a patient may have, and its severity. Based on patient input and study results, the doctor can recommend a number of treatment options.