Shared Dangers of Sleep Apnea and Hypertension
One of the most valuable aspects of our sleep apnea infographic is that it clearly shows the places where both conditions have shared dangers. If you understand the dangers, hopefully you will talk to your doctor or a Wichita Falls sleep dentist about getting tested for sleep apnea.
High blood pressure increases your risk of many common heart problems, including heart failure and heart pain, angina. Sleep apnea also contributes these heart problems. Some of this risk is mediated through high blood pressure, but some of the risk is due to inflammation and other complications of sleep apnea.
Elevated Stroke risk
Both high blood pressure and sleep apnea can increase your stroke risk. High blood pressure increases the risk that blood vessels will break, causing a hemorrhagic stroke. It can also increase the risk that arterial plaque will break off then clog blood vessels in the brain, causing an ischemic stroke.
Sleep apnea and even snoring contributes to damaged arteries, which leads to scarring and thickening of the arteries. This helps generate plaque that can then break off to cause an ischemic stroke.
Perhaps 50% of people with end-stage renal disease (severe kidney damage) have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can damage the tissues of the kidney through oxidative stress. This combines with the impact of high blood pressure’s damage to the kidneys to lead to diminished kidney function.
People with high blood pressure are at an increased risk of glaucoma, sometimes called the silent thief of sight. Glaucoma causes the loss of vision by damaging the optic nerve. In addition, sleep apnea can contribute to the risk of eye conditions like nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), similar to a stroke in the eye, which can lead to sudden morning blindness.
Depression and Anxiety
Sleep apnea and hypertension are both associated with mood problems, such as depression and anxiety. The conditions can make it hard to get good results from traditional treatment approaches for these mood disorders.
Sleep apnea leads to a loss of sexual desire and sexual pleasure for men and women. They also contribute to cardiovascular problems that damage sexual function. High blood pressure also contributes to loss of sexual function, such as erectile dysfunction (ED).
High blood pressure increases the loss of calcium from the body, which leads to bone loss. In addition, the periodic oxygen deprivation linked to sleep apnea reduces the number of bone-building cells (osteoblasts) and increases the number of bone-breaking cells (osteoclasts), leading to weaker bones.