We’d like to introduce the infographic that we developed to help people understand the risks of high blood pressure (hypertension) and sleep apnea. Our goal is to get this infographic made into a poster that can hang in doctors’ offices to increase awareness. We hope this infographic will encourage more people to talk to their doctor about sleep apnea.
Why We Decided to Create the Infographic
Although it is increasing, awareness of sleep apnea is still lagging behind the reality of this epidemic. Most people who have sleep apnea are undiagnosed. Many of the symptoms of sleep apnea are easily dismissed as just part of life. We assume that everybody is tired during the day because they aren’t getting enough sleep, for example, and make jokes about snoring. Even many doctors don’t think to talk to patients about sleep apnea because the disturbances happen at night.
This is a dangerous situation. Sleep apnea is life-threatening, and people need to understand that. To try to help people understand, we decided to latch onto hypertension, which is strongly linked to sleep apnea. Hypertension is, like sleep apnea, a common condition that’s been increasing in recent years. It’s also a condition that many people are familiar with, and one that’s taken seriously. Especially in Heart Month, it seems appropriate to call attention to the links between sleep apnea and hypertension.
Also important is fostering cooperation with doctors’ offices. Sleep apnea treatment works best when we employ a team approach. Because sleep apnea’s health impacts can affect many parts of the body, you may end up working with a doctor, a dentist, and one or more specialists to get optimal results.
How We Designed the Infographic
We wanted the infographic to be something easily understandable yet informative. We struck on the idea of the body because it seemed appropriate to the context, and it allowed us to easily tie the various health conditions to their affected systems. The bright colors are eye-catching and link the conditions to their affected systems. This gives a ready sense of how seriously each of the systems are affected. You don’t have to read the text to know that hypertension can have a serious impact on your brain, for example.
We used a rigorous process to determine which conditions we would include. This is potentially going to be hanging in doctors’ offices, after all: it needs to be reliable. So we took lists of potential consequences of hypertension and compared them to lists of consequences of sleep apnea. Once we had identified the overlap, we verified that each health consequence had been scientifically linked to both hypertension and sleep apnea.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you see the infographic and realize that you are dealing with more than one of the complications listed, you should talk to your doctor about hypertension and sleep apnea. And remember: sleep apnea can cause hypertension. Treating sleep apnea can improve hypertension. In some cases, it may be the only way to get your blood pressure down.
And if you are looking for a comfortable, convenient sleep apnea treatment in Omaha, please call (402) 493-4175 today for an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Roger Roubal at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.