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Jul 19th, 2010 Know the dangers of heart failure – ask a London dentist Get in touch

You may be aware of the condition sleep apnea but what you might not know is that it has links to heart failure and even death. Many people confuse sleep apnea with snoring because of the similar noises made and because it occurs during sleep. But while snoring is the sound of partially obstructed breathing during sleep, sleep apnea is actually the complete cessation of breathing, which can put enormous strain on the heart.

There are two main types of sleep apnea. The first and most common is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and occurs when soft palate at the back of the throat collapses temporarily blocking the airway. This causes a choking sound as the body attempts to right the situation. This will usually happen after about twenty seconds but the process can repeat itself many times throughout the night. This can put great strain on the body and be the underlying cause of stress, fatigue and poor performance.

The other type of sleep apnea is called central sleep apnea (CSA) and is caused by a malfunction in the main respiratory area of the brain. The brain forgets to tell the lungs to breath again halting breathing for many seconds during sleep. Both kinds of apnea can cause heart problems and potentially life threatening heart failure.

The amazing thing is that many people are completely unaware that they have sleep apnea unless they have been told by a friend or loved one that they stop breathing during sleep. London dentists are able to treat certain types of sleep apnea and refer other cases to specialists so that the problem can be resolved. If you are constantly stressed or tired and don’t know why, make an appointment to see your dentist. It could help you to sleep well for the first time in years.

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