Never Ignore Your Doctor's Advice About Your Blood Pressure

I have always been in pretty good health, so I was surprised one day when my doctor told me my blood pressure was a bit high. She told me to begin watching my salt intake, start exercising, and to try to relax. Well, I intended to follow her advice when I left her office, but the next day I was back to my same habits. I kept using the salt shaker and didn't begin an exercise routine like I had planned. When I went for my next check-up, she told me that my blood pressure was even higher and approaching a dangerous level. I had to begin a blood pressure medication to manage it. I wanted to create a blog to share my story and remind people to listen to their doctors' advice. If a few lifestyle changes can improve your health, then you should make them.

Medical History Evaluation During Sleep Clinic Assessment

Health & Medical Blog

If you snore loudly, wake up from a deep sleep gasping for breath, or if you experience daytime sleepiness, then your primary care physician may refer you to a sleep clinic. The aforementioned symptoms may be caused by obstructive sleep apnea and if not recognized and effectively managed, may raise your risk for cardiovascular disease. Obstructive sleep apnea refers to when your airway is obstructed during sleep which can cause breathing irregularities. During your assessment at the sleep clinic, the sleep medicine physician will get a comprehensive medical history from you that will include the following:

Current Medications

When your sleep clinic doctor is taking a medical history from you, they may ask you if you take any medications. Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications can raise the risk for snoring and subsequent obstructive sleep apnea. If your sleep medicine physician determines that the medications you are currently taking may heighten your risk for sleep apnea, then they may advise you to stop taking them a day or so prior to your sleep study. This is to help ensure that your results are not skewed as a result of your medications. Medications that may raise your risk for sleep apnea may include antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, and prescription pain medications. The latter medication may cause your tongue and throat muscles to relax, which can obstruct your airway and cause sleep apnea. 

Lifestyle Habits And Medical Conditions

Your medical history may also include questions regarding your lifestyle habits and medical conditions. For example, your sleep medicine physician may ask you if you have heart disease or if anyone if your family has suffered from obstructive sleep apnea because these factors can raise your risk. In addition, lifestyle habits such as cigarette smoking, consuming alcoholic beverages can also predispose you to sleep apnea. The sleep clinic doctor may also recommend treatments for obesity and acid reflux disease. Both of these conditions can cause sleep apnea or exacerbate existing sleep apnea. The physician may also refer you to a weight management professional and recommend that you see your primary care doctor for evaluation and treatment of your acid reflux. 

If you believe you have obstructive sleep apnea, make an appointment with your primary care doctor. After a thorough examination, they may recommend that you undergo a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea. When obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed and treated effectively, complications such as hypertension, gasping for air during sleep, and daytime sleepiness are less likely to occur.

For more information, contact a sleep clinic in your area. 


24 March 2022