Sleep apnea is the night-time phantom that causes many nocturnal deaths and auto-mobile accidents. It is caused by the frequent relaxation of tissues in the throat whilst unconscious and manifests in pauses of breath. Snoring may cause sleep apnea. The vibrations in the throat that accompany snoring have been known to damage the tissue there, making it more difficult to relax during sleep. As a night-time disease, sleep apnea is incredibly hard to diagnose- there is very little chance to identify the symptoms and as such, many people are unaware of the risks they face every night.
The risk of developing high blood pressure is greatly elevated in patients who suffer from sleep apnea, this is caused by the infrequent rhythm of respiration. When there are pauses in breathing, oxygen levels in the body decrease and cause the blood vessels to constrict in order to return blood to the vital organs.
The strain these breaks in breathing put on the heart can ultimately cause a heart attack, it can be caused be an increase in thoracic pressure or the lack of oxygen reaching the muscles in the heart. Sudden and aggressive rises in systolic pressure can cause ruptures or clotting in the blood vessels that return oxygen to the heart. Finally, a decrease in concentrations of oxygen in the body can cause a stroke when the brain is starved of oxygen. Strokes may not always be fatal but can cause extensive nerve and tissue damage and even loss of brain function. With support from Clifton Dental of Bristol,