Sleep Apnea

Your heart and sleep medicine

Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing multiple times nightly during sleep. The connection between sleep apnea and heart disease is evolving very rapidly.

Many people with cardiovascular conditions such as high blood pressure, heart failure and even stroke also have sleep apnea. Whether sleep apnea actually causes heart disease is still unclear. What medical research knows is that having sleep apnea today significantly increases your chance of developing high blood pressure in the future.

One challenge in defining the relationship between sleep apnea and heart disease is that people with sleep apnea often have other disease conditions, too. If we treat people with high blood pressure and sleep apnea, or those who have had heart failure and sleep apnea, we see significant improvement in the measures of blood pressure or heart failure. Sufficient evidence exists to show a cause-and-effect relationship between high blood pressure (a marker for potential heart trouble) and sleep apnea.

Why does blood pressure rise when sleep is disrupted by apnea?

Your blood pressure rises because you’re not breathing. Your oxygen level falls and excites receptors that alert your brain. Your brain responds by sending signals that tell your blood vessels to “tighten up” and increase the flow of oxygen to your heart and the brain. Your heart and brain take priority.

What happens in your sleep at night tends to carry over to daytime. With sleep apnea, low oxygen levels at night send “tighten up” signals during waking or daylight hours, as well. Sleep apnea can trigger multiple mechanisms that persist even when you are awake and breathing normally.

Dr. Ola Akinboboye is board-certified in sleep medicine and cardiology. Which makes him the perfect choice to help solve your sleep apnea before it impacts your heart health. To learn more about the most advanced treatments for your condition, call us at 718.949.9400.

To learn more about sleep apnea, call Queens Heart Institute at 718.949.9400 or use our online Request an Appointment form to schedule your comprehensive heart health consultation. We serve residents of Jamaica, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, South Jamaica, Rosedale and Elmont in Queens County, NY.