Resolving sleep apnea decreases risk for cardiac disease and stroke

Macomb Sleep Institute

Snoring and daytime sleepiness may drive patients to seek treatment for suspected sleep apnea. However, if left untreated, sleep apnea raises the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.

When sleep apnea patients stop breathing, their oxygen levels decrease and carbon dioxide levels increase, which activates the sympathetic nervous system. When these patients breathe in, their cardiac output increases and blood pressure spikes, disrupting the normal nighttime regulation of blood pressure and the sympathetic nervous system. This may be the link between higher incidence of cardiovascular problems and sleep apnea. Because of the medical ramifications of sleep apnea, most insurance companies cover diagnosis and treatment.

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines are the most effective treatment available for obstructive sleep apnea. With good compliance, efficacy is about 90%.

This technology is increasingly dynamic and sensitive, with computerized memory chips that store information and adjust the flow of air.

An overnight sleep study remains the standard for diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, including:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Parasomnias (night terrors or sleep walking)
  • Insomnia

Sleep studies can be conducted at one of the following locations accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM):

Macomb Sleep Institute
North Macomb, (586) 868-9075
South Roseville, (586) 778-3478

To refer a patient for a sleep study, call the center directly. Patients are referred back to their primary care physicians for reassessment and ongoing treatment of sleep-related conditions.