Dentist and sleep expert, Avi Weisfogel says 30% to 40% of patients with hypertension also have sleep apnea, three to four times the average of the population. Another concern, it seems that sleep apnea makes the treatments for hypertension partially ineffective.
The frequency of sleep apnea is very high, and it is 2 to 4 times more common in men than in women, before 60 years. The degree of severity varies, but approximately 9% of men and 4% of women have a moderate to severe form of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
Age is also the main risk factor for sleep apnea. Aging is associated with a loss of flexibility of the respiratory airway. Overweight, especially obesity, is a second important risk factor. Doctors have found that the appearance of fatty deposits along the pharynx, resulting in a narrowing of the airways and a decrease in the volume of the respiratory duct is associated. Avi Weisfogel quickly points out, “This doesn’t mean all elderly, overweight men have sleep apnea.”
Sleep apnea significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, and causes a deficit of oxygenation of the brain (hypoxia). Moreover, each sudden awakening or nightly micro-awakening causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. In the long term, apneas are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, such as: hypertension, stroke, myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart rhythm disorders (cardiac arrhythmia) and heart failure. Finally, in cases of severe apnea, the risk of dying suddenly during sleep is increased. This syndrome has also spotlighted complications in surgery. Sleep apnea, especially if not yet diagnosed, can be a risk factor in general anesthesia. Indeed, anesthetics can accentuate the relaxation of the muscles of the throat and thus aggravate apnea.
Sleep evaluations, like those performed by Dr. Weisfogel’s examination allows to study the different phases of sleep, and to measure several parameters to detect sleep apnea and evaluate their severity.This makes it possible to know if the person enters a phase of deep sleep or if the apneas prevent it.
For nearly two decades, Avi Weisfogel has been researching, evaluating and treating patients with sleep apnea and sleep disorders. His company, Dental Sleep Masters consults and trains the dental profession on how to effectively diagnose and treat patients and outfit with dental appliances to diminish sleep apnea.
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