Moderate to severe sleep apnea has been associated with possible heart failure because of structural and functional changes in the heart. Treating obstructive sleep apnea may help reverse this damage according to a study reported in the online journal Circulation:Heart Failure.
The study looked at 40 patients who were in good health but had a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea from a sleep laboratory. Complete assessments of their hearts were also completed. The patients were treated using CPAP for 26 weeks. The heart scans were repeated and the CPAP patients showed improvement in the structure and function of the left ventricle. Researchers are not sure why CPAP helped but they theorize it may have to do with reducing blood pressure. The mean blood pressure readings for the CPAP treated group fell from 144/83 to 133/80.
Diagnosing and treating obstructive sleep apnea can be both life changing and life extending. While CPAP treatment is most often prescribed almost half of all patients cannot tolerate sleeping with the machine. For those patients a wonderful alternative is an oral appliance. Oral appliances are proven effective at treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and may be used for more severe cases when the patient is CPAP intolerant.
To find out if you may be a candidate for oral appliance therapy please contact Dr. Mark Levy at StoneRidge Dental Care of Columbus, OH at 614-476-6696 today. If you have not been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea but suffer from extreme daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, weight gain or high blood pressure you are eligible for screening for this serious condition.