Hypertension, which is usually referred to as high blood pressure, is one of the most common medical conditions to exist today, and it is probably the most widely treated. In more than 90% of cases, the cause of high blood pressure is unknown but several factors can increase your risk of developing the condition, including age, obesity, high alcohol intake, smoking and a lack of exerciObstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has close links to hypertension and research done recently in France has revealed that one very popular sleep apnoea treatment can help reduce blood pressure levels in patients with high blood pressure, and do it while they sleep.
Fatigue, daytime sleepiness and moodiness are all well-known side effects of a bad night’s sleep, the direct result of OSA, but many patients don’t realise that serious sleep problems can affect not only mood and energy levels, but physical health, as well. Raised blood pressure is a prime example of this.
Published as a research abstract in the Journal of Dental Sleep Medicine, the study monitored 299 patients with sleep apnoea, including 77 who also had high blood pressure. This took place over nine months while they used an oral appliance, a “mouth guard-like” device made to custom fit by a specialist approved company and worn during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. The researchers analysed the treatment’s effect on patients’ oxygen levels, sleep apnoea symptoms and overall quality of life.
Ultimately, the study found that oral appliance therapy using this kind of mouthpiece significantly lowered the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of patients with arterial hypertension. In 59%of these patients, blood pressure was normalised by using an oral appliance to treat sleep apnoea.
This is important news for patients struggling with sleep apnoea because oral appliances are often found to be more comfortable and easier to wear every night than the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask traditionally used to treat sleep apnoea. A CPAP machine sends a flow of air through tubing and a mask to keep the airway open and patients breathing. While it is highly effective at treating sleep apnoea, up to 50% of patients do not continue to use CPAP treatment long-term because they find it dries the mouth and it is both uncomfortable and oppressive.
If a patient is unwilling or unable to wear their CPAP nightly, they are most likely to be a prime candidate for oral appliance therapy. Custom-fitted by an NHS Approved specialist who works hand-in-hand with a sleep physician, oral appliances hold the lower jaw forward and keep the airway open. Oral appliances are silent, easy to travel with and proven effective, especially for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnoea.
The main example of this in the UK is the NHS Approved SleepPro Custom that has been rigorously tested by the Sleep Specialist team at the world-renowned Papworth Hospital in Britain, where they listed it as the number one choice to control mild to moderate OSA>
Sleep apnoea and high blood pressure are commonly tied together, and it’s important for snorers, and their families to be aware that untreated sleep apnoea is a potentially life-threatening condition. It can increase the risk for serious health problems from congestive heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease to diabetes, obesity, depression and impotence.
SleepPro Custom is the leading NHS Approved appliance for heavier snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea, so if you, or another family member suffers from this health problem, then it’s important to start to control it as early as possible.