Sleep Apnea and AFib: What’s the Connection?

March 15, 2023

Sleep apnea and AFib are both common health problems. But are these problems actually related? The answer will give you some insights into your overall health. Read on to learn about the link between sleep apnea and AFIB.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods while they are sleeping. Sleep apnea can cause fatigue, snoring, and even long-term issues related to sleeplessness, like mood or concentration problems.

How Does it Relate to AFib?

Doctors have known that many conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, can make a person more likely to develop sleep apnea. However, they have recently discovered that AFib is a risk factor, too. Patients need to be especially cautious because, while sleep apnea can lead to AFib, AFib can also lead to sleep apnea. Doctors are still researching this connection, so stay in touch with your doctor to learn more in the future.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is diagnosed by running a sleep test. During this test, your breathing will be monitored and checked for inconsistencies. Doctors will also monitor your heart rate and blood oxygen levels. While this test is usually performed in a sleep lab, at-home versions are now available as well. These can be much more comfortable for patients as they allow you to test in your own bed overnight.

The Importance of Treatment

It’s important for all sleep apnea patients to get treatment. However, there could be extra consequences for AFib patients. Sleep apnea can make AFib medications less effective. It can also make AFib symptoms more pronounced. Taking care to treat both issues is the best way to stay healthy overall.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you have AFib, your cardiologist can test you for sleep apnea as well. They can also check for other underlying conditions that can affect your heart health. Together, you and your doctor can come up with a treatment plan that addresses all of your needs.

AFib Care in Houston, TX

Northwest Heart Centre can help you manage your AFib symptoms. With convenient offices in Tomabll, it’s easy to get the heart care you need. Book your appointment online or give us a call at (281) 351-6250 for more information.