Can Sleep Apnea Cause Pulmonary Hypertension?

Sleep Apnea

Yes, sleep apnea has been associated with an increased risk of developing pulmonary hypertension. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. These pauses, known as apneas or hypopneas, can lead to reduced oxygen levels in the blood and disrupted sleep patterns.

Over time, untreated sleep apnea can result in various complications, including an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, and pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart. The repeated episodes of low oxygen levels and the strain that sleep apnea puts on the cardiovascular system can contribute to the development or worsening of pulmonary hypertension in some individuals.

Treatment for sleep apnea, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, can help improve breathing during sleep and prevent drops in oxygen levels. Managing sleep apnea effectively may reduce the risk or progression of pulmonary hypertension and other associated complications. If someone has symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment.