How Untreated Sleep Apnea Affects Your Cardiovascular System

How Untreated Sleep Apnea Affects Your Cardiovascular System

Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition that disrupts the quality of sleep you get. For the estimated 30 million Americans with sleep apnea, there is also a greater risk for developing other complications, including those that affect your cardiovascular health.

At OakBend Medical Group, our experienced bariatric surgeons offer several therapeutic strategies you can use to manage sleep apnea and prevent further sleep disruptions.

Christopher Reilly, MD, FACS, Steven M. Thomas, MD, FACS, and Genna Lubrano, MD, also specialize in several types of weight loss surgeries to improve your breathing during sleep and to lower your risk for obesity-related cardiovascular issues.

What to know about obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing periodically during sleep. These pauses in breathing occur when the tissues at the back of your throat relax and block your airway.

When your body isn’t getting enough oxygen, you may wake up several times a night gasping for breath. Many people with obstructive sleep apnea also snore loudly during sleep and may wake up feeling exhausted no matter how many hours they’ve slept.

Other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea can include:

Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea often go undiagnosed because they are unaware of their breathing troubles during the night. If your loved ones are complaining about your loud snoring or if you never feel refreshed after a night of sleep, you can schedule a sleep apnea evaluation with our providers.

Early intervention of obstructive sleep apnea can lower your risk for ongoing sleep problems. Treatment can also prevent cardiovascular complications that can develop because of untreated sleep apnea.

The cardiovascular consequences of sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea has several known risk factors for cardiovascular disorders that can lead to chronic health concerns.

If you have sleep apnea, you may also be more likely to experience:

It’s also important to note that the same factors that contribute to obstructive sleep apnea also play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease. For instance, if you’re obese or have diabetes, you may be at increased risk for developing both sleep apnea and heart disease.

When to consider bariatric surgery for sleep apnea

Bariatric surgery to promote weight loss may not be the initial treatment strategy that our team recommends. They may first suggest that you try to lose weight on your own with diet and lifestyle changes.

However, if you have a lot of weight to lose or you’re already experiencing cardiovascular problems or other obesity-related side effects that jeopardize your health, we can discuss your options for weight loss surgery.

Our team provides several types of weight loss surgeries, including:

As you successfully lose weight and keep it off, your breathing during sleep can improve. You may also benefit from the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine that provides supplemental oxygen through a face mask you wear at night.

Call OakBend Medical Group in Richmond, Texas, to schedule a sleep apnea consultation or book an appointment online today. 


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