Why Sleep Apnea and Hypertension
are a Deadly Combination

Sleep apnea and hypertension (high blood pressure) both require immediate medical attention and a committed life-style change. However, the combination of pulmonary hypertension and sleep apnea puts individuals at an even greater health risk.

The following is an all too common account of how easily symptoms of sleep apnea, i.e., high blood pressure is often missed, by medical professionals:

Sleep Apnea and Hypertension are Connected

The following is a first-hand account of how sleep apnea and hypertension can go undetected. If you relate to any of this individual's story, be sure to see your health care practictioner.

"Before I discovered that hypertension and sleep apnea are often connected, I fought with an overwhelming tiredness that kept me from enjoying the normal functions in my life. All I wanted to do was sleep but when I would lie down, either sleep would not come or I would take a small nap and wake up feeling more drained. This went on for a period of almost two years before I discovered the reason.

"Since I live alone, no one ever told me that my snoring was atrocious until a relative spent the night and mentioned that my snoring kept him awake in another room. I decided to read up on how snoring might affect my tiredness and was surprised to find sleep apnea could very well be the cause."

"Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where your breathing becomes abnormal during sleep. I read everything that I could find on this condition and took the following steps:
· Sleeping on my side

· Avoiding alcohol

· Using an oral appliance

· Propping up my head and shoulders with pillows

· Sleeping an extra hour

"None of these measures appeared to be working plus I was now slowing gaining weight without increasing any calorie intake. In addition, I was plagued with chronic sinus infections that never seemed to go away. My physician tried allergy medicines, breathing mechanisms and suggested exercises but I continued making the trip about every three months for more antibiotics.

"On one doctor visit, it was noted that my blood pressure was very high. It would fluctuate between 120/70 and 160/110. This is when the word ‘hypertension' was mentioned to me. After much discussion it was determined that my sleep apnea and hypertension were related. In fact, I was diagnosed with the life-threatening combination of sleep apnea and pulmonary hypertension."

"In my case, I had to begin a regiment of medicine I will not have to take forever with the right lifestyle changes of stress reduction, quit smoking and a healthy diet. I have seen a significant change in the past two months and my weight is returning to normal. The depression is fading and I can once again enjoy life."

Don't Mess with Hypertension

hypertension

Hypertension is high blood pressure that may occur without any change on your part but can shorten your life by forcing your heart to work harder to keep your organs functioning. Pulmonary hypertension is when the right side of the heart has trouble pumping blood through the lungs that it is connected to.

Left undiagnosed and untreated, the affected blood vessels thicken and become stiff, a process known as fibrosis. Lungs are constricted and cut off precious air supply, making every movement a chore. With the additional sleep apnea, heart and lungs have to work beyond normal capacity.

Hypertension is nothing to mess around with and the combination of sleep apnea and hypertension can make for a deadly outcome. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, heart conditions could be a leading contributor. Watch for signs of:
· Tiredness

· Weight Gain

· Depression
· Trouble Concentrating

· Elevated blood pressure

These signs could be the onset of sleep apnea and hypertension.

Discuss the signs with your physician and follow his or her recommendations.

Return to Information on Sleep Apnea

Return to Sleep Disorders

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