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Can Sleep Apnea Cause Chest Pain

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The Importance Of Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

OSA increases the risk of congestive heart failure and stroke. OSA has a number of complications and signs. These include a higher risk of accidents, high blood pressure, inattentiveness at work or school, mood swings, general fatigue and erectile dysfunction. Children suffering from OSA can be hyperactive, moody, high strung, aggressive, and prone to bed wetting. Unusual sleeping positions can be a sign of OSA. Overall, people suffering from sleep apnea experience deterioration in their quality of life.

What The Research Shows

Early identification and treatment of sleep apnea are key, he says. Several studies now link severe obstructive sleep apnea to higher mortality even after accounting for risk factors such as obesity.

In a five-year study of nearly 11,000 people, those with obstructive sleep apnea had a higher risk of sudden cardiac death. At greatest risk were those aged 60 and older with moderate to severe apnea .

When their oxygen saturation levels dipped below 78% preventing air from flowing into the lungs their risk increased by 80%.

In addition, our group has shown that people with severe obstructive sleep apnea have a two-to-fourfold greater risk of abnormal heart rhythms than people without sleep apnea, he says.

Other researchers have found that patients with obstructive sleep apnea are more than 2.5 times as likely to experience sudden cardiac death between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. as those without obstructive apnea.

What Are Central Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Central sleep apnea shares many of the same symptoms as obstructive sleep apnea, with a few additional symptoms. Snoring can occur with central sleep apnea but is not the most prominent symptom compared to obstructive sleep apnea.

Common central sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Periods of stopped or abnormal breathing during sleep
  • Snorting and gasping during sleep
  • Shortness of breath during sleep that is relieved when sitting up
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia

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Sleep And Heart Attacks

A heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, happens when the flow of blood to the heart gets blocked. Heart attacks can be fatal because of the damage that occurs when the heart does not get enough oxygen.

Sleep deprivation heightens the risk of heart attacks. In one study, people sleeping less than six hours per night had a 20% higher chance of a heart attack. While the NREM sleep stage helps the heart slow down and recover, REM sleep involves heightened stress and activity. Insufficient sleep can throw off the balance of these stages, increasing heart attack risk.

Sleep interruptions have also been linked to the potential for heart attacks. Because both heart rate and blood pressure can abruptly spike upon awakening, frequent sleep disruptions can cause cardiac stress and may induce a heart attack.

Sleep For People With Heart Disease


Because sleep deprivation can harm the heart, its important for people with cardiovascular problems to make getting good sleep a priority. Some evidence even indicates that improving sleep may reduce the likelihood of heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems in people who are otherwise at high risk.

Unfortunately, some heart problems can interfere with sleep. For example, diabetes can cause frequent nighttime urination, and other cardiovascular disorders may create chest discomfort when trying to get to sleep. Worry and anxiety about heart health can also make it hard to wind down and fall asleep normally.

Because numerous factors can influence both sleep and cardiovascular health, its most helpful to talk with your doctor about heart-healthy sleep. A doctor can help develop a specific plan to improve your sleep while also addressing other lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, that are important for your heart and overall wellness.

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What Is The Treatment For Sleep Apnea

Likely the most familiar treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP therapy. With CPAP, a bedside machine delivers a continuous stream of air through a mask that you wear while sleeping. The air pressure keeps your upper airway passages open and prevents apnea.

Other treatments for sleep apnea include oral appliances worn at night that shift your lower jaw forward slightly. This helps prevent muscles and other soft tissue structures at the back of your throat from collapsing.

Depending on the cause of apnea, surgery to remove excess tissue or reposition your lower jaw may be recommended for moderate-to-severe apnea that doesnt respond to other therapies.

If youre struggling with elevated blood pressure and would like expert help at bringing it under control, schedule a visit at Premier Cardiology Consultants today.

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Cpap Side Effects You Should Know

CPAP is currently one of the best treatment options for patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

However, even though the effectiveness is there, and scientifically backed, it is important to mention that side effects are rather common. Just like any treatment device, the CPAP machine has its advantages and disadvantages.

Unfortunately, the side effects of CPAP treatment are often overlooked and expected as a normal occurrence. However, people who are already experiencing health issues because of their sleep apnea dont want to deal with more conditions caused by a treatment.

So, because people arent aware of how serious these side effects can be, weve decided to tackle this topic in the following paragraphs. Hopefully, youll become more familiar with the disadvantages of CPAP therapy, and you can discuss more with your doctor or medical professional.

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Can You Skip A Night Of Cpap

How Long Can You Forgo CPAP Therapy? Just because you can skip your CPAP for a night or two doesn’t mean you should become someone who uses their CPAP just occasionally. Consistent use is the best way to experience long-lasting relief from obstructive sleep apnea. You can think of your CPAP like a healthy diet.

Is 3 Hours Of Cpap Enough

LewisGale doctor trained in new sleep apnea treatment

CPAP is unquestionably the most successful treatment available for sleep apnea. Unfortunately average use of CPAP is only 4-5 hours/night, not the recommended 7 1/2 hours a night. This can lead to deadly consequences for many reasons. The 25% of patients who wear their CPAP all night every night are not at risk.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Complications

Complications of obstructive sleep apnea can include:

  • Sleepiness during the day and trouble concentrating. Adults may have a higher risk of accidents, and children may have a hard time at school.
  • Cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, high blood pressure, unusual heart rhythms, or stroke
  • Eye problems such as glaucoma and dry eye
  • Metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes
  • Problems with pregnancy like gestational diabetes or low-birth-weight babies
  • Complications after surgery

Changes In Pressure Within The Chest

When a person with obstructive sleep apnea attempts to breathe, they inhale against a narrowed or closed upper airway. These unsuccessful, forced inhalations can cause substantial changes in pressure within the chest cavity. Over time, these repetitive changes in intrathoracic pressure can damage the heart. Intrathoracic pressure changes can lead to atrial fibrillation , problems with blood flow to the heart, and even heart failure.

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Chest Pain And Cardiac Arrhythmias

Chest pain is one of the most common occurrences in patients receiving CPAP therapy. One case report shows that some sleep apnea patients have coronary artery disease, heart block, or chest pain. Obstructive sleep apnea seems to have caused such issues due to transient nocturnal hypoxia or oxygen saturation known to occur in sleep apnea patients.

Furthermore, the case report stated that chest pain and cardiac arrhythmias tend to occur in sleep apnea patients who receive CPAP therapy but are also obese.

In sleep apnea patients that have a BMI of 30 and higher, the chance of cardiac issues is significantly higher than in sleep apnea patients with a normal BMI.

How The Heart Works

When an Oral Appliance May Work Better for Severe Sleep Apnea » Scary ...

Lets think of the way the heart works to explain this. The heart has four chambers, two atrium and two ventricles, that contract to pump blood. I think of the heart as having two pumps made up by these four chambers.

The left side is the body pump and the right side is the lung pump. The lung pump sends blood to the lungs to get oxygen. After the lungs oxygenate the blood, it is sent to the body pump. Then, the body pump sends this good, oxygenated blood to the body.

With sleep apnea this process to receive good, oxygenated blood does not happen properly. None of the organs, including the heart, receive the oxygen needed. This puts stress on the heart, causing it to have to work harder. Essentially its comparable to a person attempting a marathon with no training or conditioning. It is very dangerous.

This is the reason there is a higher risk of left ventricular heart failure in patients that have sleep apnea. The body pump works extra hard to move poorly oxygenated blood all the way to the brain and the toes. The left side of the heart becomes enlarged and tired.

Men have a 58 percent increased risk of developing heart failure from untreated sleep apnea. Because the heart has to pump so much harder, blood pressure increases. Medication may help to control the high blood pressure, but really its just a band-aid. Patients with sleep apnea run as high as an 85 percent risk of having resistant hypertension.

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About Complete Care Emergency Centers

It can be difficult to distinguish which ailment is causing your chest pain while you are sleeping, which is why it is important to note other symptoms you may have. If you need to seek medical care, dont hesitate to contact the closest Complete Care emergency room by phone to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Does Sleep Apnea Cause Chest Pain

    Shrugging off illness is practically part of adulthood and as we get older, it is increasingly normal. After all, youve got bills to pay, work to do and responsibilities to worry about.

    No matter how tough you are, chest pain is one of those things that jolts anyone into a panic. Rightfully so, this kind of pain is never good and always demands our full attention. Unfortunately, the cause is just as mysterious as something like sleep apnea.

    If you have both you may be scratching your head and wondering if theyre related.

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    Sleep Deprivation And Heart Disease

    Insufficient or fragmented sleep is common in patients with sleep apnea, and regularly missing sleep can negatively affect heart health. One of the many important roles of sleep is to allow the body to rest and recuperate. Heart rate and blood pressure drop during sleep as breathing becomes stable and regular.

    Not getting enough sleep as a result of conditions like OSA means not giving the heart and cardiovascular system this important recovery time. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to increased risk for hypertension, heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.

    Sleeping Too Much And Heart Health

    Anything But CPAP: Other Sleep Apnea Treatment Option

    The impacts of sleep deprivation on heart health receive considerable attention, but many studies have also found associations between sleeping too much, generally defined as more than nine hours per night, and cardiovascular problems.

    While more research is needed, many experts believe that underlying health conditions that cause excess sleep are also the cause of this higher rate of heart issues. Nevertheless, this data is a reminder that its a myth that more sleep is always better.

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    Rare Cpap Side Effects

    • Pneumocephaly this is a case where the air coming from CPAP device accumulates intracranially, or within the skull. This can have terrible neurological effects and intense headaches.
    • Pulmonary barotrauma the CPAP device can cause the air pressure to rise to dangerous levels in just a matter of seconds. The result of this can be pulmonary, or lung barotrauma, and it can have serious effects on a patients respiratory system and inspiratory flow.
    • Intraocular hypertension even though rare, this often occurs in glaucomatous patients. The CPAP therapy increases the pressure inside the eye so that the intraocular pressure is higher than normal. This can cause pressure build-up in the eye, as the front of the eye doesnt drain fluid properly.
    • Subcutaneous emphysema this side effect refers to air being trapped within the tissues under the skin. This is an unusual complication that can be sometimes caused by CPAP therapy. It is usually solved by having CPAP therapy discontinued.

    Can Pain Medications Cause Sleep Apnea

    While the chronic pain itself may not cause sleep apnea, there is a clear relationship between sleep apnea and pain management medications.

    A 2007 study initially looked at the relationship between sleep apnea and pain management with opioids. Lynn R. Webster, MD, from Lifetree Clinical Research and Pain Clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah explained that:

    We found that sleep-disordered breathing was common when chronic pain patients took prescribed opioids. We also found a direct dose-response relationship between central sleep apnea and methadone and benzodiazepines, an association which had not been previously reported.

    Remember from above that central sleep apnea occurs when the central nervous system does not work properly to reflexively wake a sleeper who has stopped breathing. Opioids work on the central nervous system as well. They not only dampen the pain response but also suppress other reflexive behaviors. This can help explain why sleep apnea risks can increase after taking certain pain medications.

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    If You Suspect Sleep Apnea

    Think you may have sleep apnea? Its important to have it checked. Sleep apnea can lead to other heart health problems and impaired performance on the job or at school. Your doctor may suggest a sleep evaluation.

    Not only will getting treated for sleep apnea reduce your risk of a dangerous cardiac event, says Dr. Wilkoff. It will make you sleep better, and feel better, all around.

    The Biggest Throat Problem For Sleep Apnea Sufferers

    Costochondritis: Chest pain and fibromyalgia

    If you wake up every morning needing to hack up lots of thick mucous, or have throat pain, hoarseness, or a chronic cough, youre not alone. You may think its the beginning of a cold, but a cold doesnt continue for weeks to months without progressing into the full-blown viral symptoms.

    Instead, these symptoms are the beginnings of the most common throat problem sleep apnea sufferers face. And as I explain below, without understanding why this occurs, it can be one of the hardest problems to treat.

    Beware of the Vacuum Effect

    People with obstructive sleep apnea are more prone to breathing problems at night due to partial or total collapse of one or more areas of the entire upper airway, from the nose to the tongue. Its usually worse when on your back, since the tongue can fall back more in this position. During deep sleep, your muscles naturally relax and youll be more susceptible to breathing stoppages.

    Pressure sensors placed inside sleep apnea patients reveal that every time an apnea occurs, a tremendous vacuum effect is created inside the chest and throat, which literally suctions up your normal stomach juices into your esophagus and throat. This can happen occasionally, even for normal people, but if you happen to have a late meal or a snack just before bedtime, there will be even more stomach juices lingering in your stomach to come up into the throat. If you happened to drink a nightcap, the situation is even worse since alcohol is a strong muscle relaxant.

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    Solution To Cpap Chest Pain

    • it’s possible to combine the CPAP with a sleep apnea dental device, which will dramatically lower the CPAP pressure without losing the benefits of the treatment.
    • The dental device is a mouthpiece that fits over the upper and lower teeth, holding the lower jaw slightly forward. This will keep the soft palate and tongue from falling back into your throat when you sleep, preventing snoring and sleep apnea episodes.So, a lot of mechanical work will be taken by the dental device, thus allowing the CPAP to do his job at a much lower pressure.Note: To use a dental device combined with CPAP, a nasal pillow or nasal mask will be needed.

    • you could try a sleep apnea dental device instead of CPAP. In this case, there is no air pressure, and no uncomfortable CPAP mask, hose, or CPAP machine. It should be much more comfortable.
    • there are some special functions on expensive CPAP machines, which help exhaling easier when you sleep with CPAP. These functions are EPR and C-Flex . Check if these functions are enabled.
    • using a BiPAP machine can help the patients with high pressure, because the pressure drops through the whole exhalatory phase. It’s not constant pressure like in CPAP .
    • the final option is to work the chest muscles through breathing exercises and they will get use to it.

    What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea is when something blocks part or all of your upper airway while you sleep. Your diaphragm and chest muscles have to work harder to open your airway and pull air into your lungs. Your breath can become very shallow, or you may even stop breathing briefly. You usually start to breathe again with a loud gasp, snort, or body jerk. You may not sleep well, but you probably won’t know that itâs happening.

    The condition can also lower the flow of oxygen to your organs and cause uneven heart rhythms.

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    Why Sleep Apnea Causes Chest Pain

    There are two main reasons that sleep apnea may be causing chest pain. The first is acid reflux. Both conditions seem to go hand in hand. The reason why isnt clear but the sharp pain or dull throbbing of acid reflux is easy to mistake for a heart condition.

    The second reason may be an oversight. If youre using a CPAP machine, you may have forgotten about the settings on the device. The air pressure coming through the mask might be too high and not allow you to exhale properly. This causes a strain on your lungs and chest muscles. Luckily solving these isnt complicated.

    Acid reflux is easy enough to treat. Your doctor should be able to prescribe an acid blocker or other medication to help you cope and certain dietary changes can decrease the chance of it happening.

    If the pain is because of your CPAP machine, adjusting the EPR setting or ramp pressure can do the trick. Youll want to make sure you consult with an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to make sure you know what youre doing.

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