Sleep apnea is an issue no matter which way you look at it. But aside from the interrupted sleep, the snoring, and the daytime fatigue, sleep apnea may be the cause of a more serious range of issues.
A recent study shows that sleep apnea may increase the chance of atrial fibrillation, in addition to the other issues raised by the condition. Along with an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke, the additional chance of developing atrial fibrillation (or AF) makes untreated sleep apnea especially concerning.
But what is AF?
Atrial fibrillation is, at its simplest, an irregular heart-beat. When healthy, the heart will typically always maintain its regular rhythm. When it doesn’t, you start running the risk of developing blood clots, and in turn, having a stroke.
We don’t mean to sound alarmist. Quite the opposite– the important thing with conditions like AF is education. When only around 33% of people with AF consider it dangerous, we know we have to step in!
So what can you do to reduce the chances of developing AF? Properly addressing sleep apnea is a great first step. By treating the underlying condition, you reduce the chance of developing AF. Sooner is better– if you suspect you have sleep apnea, then treating the condition is a great way to change the course of conditions like AF. With proactive treatment, many of the issues that stem from sleep apnea begin to correct themselves!
Sleep Apnea is Treatable
The important part of treating sleep apnea and any issues that may arise because of it, is getting information. Talk to your dental specialist or healthcare provider about sleep apnea. If you suspect that the frequent interruptions to your sleep schedule are due to sleep apnea, then don’t wait! And if you’re in the Austin, TX area, consider stopping by our office for a check-up.
Dr. Matthews has decades of experience treating those who suffer from sleep apnea. If you have any questions, take a look at our website for more information. There are a number of solutions, but each case of sleep apnea is different! Contact us today for more information— Dr. Matthews will help find the solution that’s right for you.