Patients with untreated sleep apnea can have congestive heart failure (CHF) sooner or later. The heart failure is actually one of the main reasons why severe sleep apnea patients have a high risk of death.
Only 20% of those with CHF can survive more than 8 to 12 years, and the life quality of these years are severely compromised.
If you have sleep apnea, you are in a high risk of developing congestive heart failure. You have to do something about it, fast.
Preventing the causes of congestive heart failure is the main step to a better quality of life.
Here are the most common causes that you must pay attention:
untreated high blood pressure (hypertension) can cause congestive heart failure, stroke, and damage to the kidney and retina.
The risk for hypertension raises if you are overweight or you smoke. However, if you lose weight and stop smoking the risk lowers.
To understand why should you control your high blood pressure, you can watch the next video. It's especially interesting for persons who have sleep breathing disorders:
Hypertension has no clear symptoms, other than high blood pressure readings, so you may think you are alright with your heart.
Dizziness and morning headaches sometimes indicate high blood pressure, so if you have these symptoms is wise to visit your doctor.
Heart attack is one of the most dangerous causes of congestive heart failure. Let's see what happens during a heart attack:
Arrhythmia appears when your heart's synchronization is disturbed, which means an irregular pulse.
A damaged heart muscle can't send electrical impulses, because the disruption from the muscle breaks the circuit. That's why you will feal an abnormal pulse, when you have arrhythmia.
An irregular pulse increases the risk for congestive heart failure and stroke, so don't forget to have your doctor check you out.
Your risk for congestive heart failure is two to eight times greater than of someone who doesn't have diabetes.
The abnormal blood sugar levels common found in diabetes weaken your heart muscle, making it vulnerable to congestive heart failure.
Alcohol is the most subtle from the causes of congestive heart failure.
Heavy alcohol use can cause high blood pressure over time, which can lead to congestive heart failure, stroke and coronary disease. The older you are, the more dangerous can be to your heart.
A serious alcohol related problem is enlarged heart or cardiomyopathy. This disorder damages not only the heart, but other organs as well, like your brain and liver, making very difficult to treat.
The good news is that you can save your heart if you stop drinking.
Family health history tree - certain genes can predispose you to certain problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.
You can't control this risk factor for congestive heart failure, because it's genetics. Certain proteins present in some people allow heart disease to develop earlier than normal, often when no other causes are present.
Sleep apnea is a significant cause of congestive heart failure. Obstructive sleep apnea is not only a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but may also contribute to the progression of congestive heart failure.
On the other hand, central sleep apnea may be a consequence of heart failure, and it may increase the risk for arrhythmia.