How sleep apnea is linked to your heart
Sleep apnea is dangerous for your heart and cardiovascular system because it deprives the body of oxygen.
Each time you struggle to breathe during the night due to your obstructive sleep apnea: you get less oxygen in your system, and your heart has to work much harder to get more blood flowing around your body.
The increase in effort from your heart can cause high blood pressure and other heart problems such as heart attacks and strokes. The good news is, using CPAP may help both sleep apnea and heart health at the same time.
Learn more about the signs of sleep apnea…
Not currently using your CPAP? Or, perhaps you’re thinking about being tested for sleep apnea?
Study: “CPAP Compliance Key to Reducing Cardiovascular Risks of Sleep Apnea”
The researchers at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine observed participants who were recently diagnosed with sleep apnea.
By testing them before starting CPAP treatment and then again 3 months into their treatment, they were able to see how quickly CPAP treatment could affect heart health. They found:
- Patients with high compliance showed huge improvements in blood pressure
- Low-compliance test subjects didn’t see any results
- For those that stopped with high compliance, the benefits quickly disappeared
How to use your CPAP to reduce cardiovascular risks
Make sure you have working supplies
When your supplies are old, the therapy will become less and less effective. Because this happens slowly over time, most folks end up not noticing it. Instead, they will tighten their mask a little more, thinking they just need the seal a little closer.
Eventually this leads to over-tightening that can cause pain, marks, and the annoying “hot mask” feeling. The less comfortable your CPAP supplies are, the harder it is to stay compliant and get your CPAP benefits. You can avoid this by replacing your supplies regularly.
Consult our schedule for replacing your mask and supplies:
Make sure you have the right pressure.
Sleep studies are no longer needed to ensure machines are providing the right pressure. Instead, newer CPAP machines are now auto-titrating, meaning they adjust to your needs breath-by-breath to give the most effective pressure needed all night.
Today, ResMed, Respironics and Fisher and Paykel devices have automatic comfort settings to help you stay CPAP compliant:
- Humidification: 7 levels of humidity and an optional heated tube ensures you don’t dry out
- Expiratory Pressure Relief reduces pressure upon exhale, avoiding high pressure mask leaks
- AutoRamp: Starts your sleep therapy at a low pressure so you fall asleep more comfortably