A study published in 2018 by the ‘Journal of Hypertension showed evidence that there seems to be a link connecting obstructive sleep apnea with pulmonary Hypertension. Before we explore this topic further, you must understand the medical conditions of Obstructive sleep apnea and pulmonary Hypertension. Therefore, we write this article to help you learn about all the key facts about these disorders and provide you with the answer to the important question: how does obstructive sleep apnea cause pulmonary Hypertension? Please read on to know more.
What are Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Pulmonary Hypertension?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder involving the complete or partial obstruction of the upper airway in the respiratory tract during sleep. Furthermore, an individual with this medical condition, also known as ‘OSA,’ usually is unaware of breathing disruptions while sleeping. It also has a connection to snoring and other neurocognitive disorders.
While Pulmonary Hypertension is a medical condition in which there is an increase in blood pressure within the arteries of the lungs, the disorder usually occurs gradually over a while and not immediately out of the blue. At the moment, unfortunately, Pulmonary Hypertension is incurable. However, research is being carried out to find the treatment for this respiratory disease.
Do You Know the Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Pulmonary Hypertension?
People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea usually exhibit a symptom known as ‘Daytime Sleepiness .’Also, because OSA essentially decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body, poor sleep is one of the symptoms of this disorder. There are also other signs which include the following:
- Snoring loudly
- Disturbance in breathing while sleeping
Pulmonary Hypertension, on the other hand, also comprises quite a few symptoms that are not visible, to begin with. However, it begins to get very noticeable as the disorder worsens. These include the following:
- Chest pain
- Ankles or legs swelling
- Increase in pulse rate
- Heart palpitations
- Swelling of fluid inside the stomach
- Heart palpitations
- Pressure in the chest
What are the Symptoms of End-Stage Pulmonary Hypertension?
End-stage pulmonary Hypertension is a phase wherein this medical condition becomes worse.
Therefore, for those of you who are wondering what are the symptoms of end-stage pulmonary Hypertension? Here is presenting to its functions:
- Breathing getting harder
- Constant flare-ups
- Reduction in the effectiveness of the lung function
What are the Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Pulmonary Hypertension?
In terms of Pulmonary Hypertension, the actual trigger which causes this disorder is largely unknown. There can be many factors, not just one, that can lead to this medical condition. Furthermore, statistics also suggest that about 20% of Pulmonary Hypertension cases happen due to genetics. The other possible symptoms of this respiratory tract disease are as follows:
- Sickle cell anemia
- Congenital heart disease
- Infections such as HIV or schistosomiasis
- Liver disease
- Connective tissue disorders
As far as Obstructive Sleep Apnea is concerned, a few reasons could trigger this disorder. They are as follows:
- Renal or heart failure can lead to build-up in the neck and obstruction of the upper airway in the lungs.
- A few chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis
- Endocrine-related conditions such as acromegaly and hypothyroidism
- Medical conditions such as stroke related to the neuromuscular system
- A breathing disorder is known as obesity hypoventilation syndrome
How do you Diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Pulmonary Hypertension?
The diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea begins with your doctor studying your complete physical examination and past medical history. Furthermore, your physician will check your head and neck for any physical factors that may affect sleep. The healthcare professional will eventually ask you to perform any one of the following tests given below. They are:
- EEG and EOM
- Pulse Oximetry
If your doctor happens to suspect that you have Pulmonary Hypertension, then in all likelihood, you will have to perform one of the tests mentioned below. They are:
- CT scan which will help in detecting blood clots
- Pulmonary Function Test that enables the assessment of the capacity and flow of air in and out of your lungs
- Chest X-Ray which enables you to check whether the pulmonary arteries or right lower chamber of the heart is enlarged
- Echocardiogram to help you check for the structure and function of your heart and also measure pulmonary artery pressure.
- Right Heart Catheterization will help you measure blood pressure in pulmonary arteries.
- Blood tests that check for substances having a link to Pulmonary Artery Tension
What are the Treatment Options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Pulmonary Hypertension?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a medical condition related to sleep that can be treated using the following methods. They are as follows:
- Use of machines such as BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) and CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
- Losing weight
- Sleeping on side
Also, regarding Pulmonary Hypertension, you might wonder how you can treat this medical condition. Is it also possible that you may ponder over the question can CPAP treat reverse pulmonary Hypertension?
The answer is that using CPAP or another device related to Obstructive Sleep Apnea will not completely resolve the pulmonary Hypertension that you may suffer from. However, you can use a few treatment methods to find a solution to this disorder. They are as follows:
- Make lifestyle changes such as eating a good diet, quitting smoking, exercising daily, etc.
- Opting for surgery that includes lung/heart transplant or atrial septostomy
- Taking drugs such as anticoagulants and endothelin receptor antagonists
Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Cause Pulmonary Hypertension?
As per a new research study, there is evidence that obstructive sleep apnea leads to pulmonary Hypertension. Furthermore, this occurs because OSA stimulates the increase in pulmonary artery pressure. Such an increase in the blood pressure level also happens due to repeated loss of oxygen in the bloodstream.
So, as you can see, Obstructive sleep apnea and pulmonary Hypertension are severe medical conditions that need to be treated in time for an individual to live a healthy lifestyle. More importantly, it has been scientifically found that OSA does serve as a trigger point for pulmonary Hypertension, yet another reason you need to treat such medical disorders as soon as possible.