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Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Post-Surgical Risks for Sleep Apnea Sufferers

If you have central, obstructive, or mixed sleep apnea, you may be at risk for dangerous complications following surgery. According to studies, patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were at double the risk of suffering complications following surgery, and nearly triple the risk for suffering serious complications, including transfer to the intensive care unit and cardiac events. In addition, patients with OSA had an average of 33 % longer hospital stay than patients with normal sleep patterns.

In addition, OSA sufferers are at a greater risk for complications related to sedatives or painkillers, and should be given limited dosages and closely monitored while on these drugs. Any surgery which may lead to swelling in the mouth and throat can become a deadly combination for OSA sufferers.

If you have sleep apnea, make sure your surgeon knows about it prior to any procedure, and make sure you ask your doctor explicitly about possible sleep-apnea-related complications with any prescribed medications.

If you have any sleep apnea symptoms, it may be best to have a conclusive diagnosis for sleep apnea performed before any major surgery. Please contact the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center today for a free initial consultation.

posted by Dr. Candelaria at 10:11 AM

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Sleep Apnea Screening Test Seeks to Reduce Surgical Complications

Because sleep apnea sufferers are at an increased risk for post-surgical complications, a team of Canadian Anesthesiologists has developed a very brief sleep apnea screening tool that can quickly be administered to all patients during preoperative interviews. The screening tool, known as STOP, consists of 4 questions:

Do you Snore loudly?

Do you often feel Tired, fatigued, or sleepy during the day?

Has anyone Observed you stop breathing during sleep?

Do you have or are you being treated for high blood Pressure?

A patient who answers yes to two or more questions is considered to be at high risk for sleep apnea. In an initial study, the questionnaire was found to have an 80 % sensitivity for those patients suffering from the highest level of sleep apnea-hypopnea. When combined with other risk factors for sleep apnea, such as body mass index, age, neck circumference, and gender, the sensitivity rose to virtually 100 % for the highest levels of sleep apnea-hypopnea.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you could be placing yourself at risk for serious postoperative complications, complications that can be prepared against if you know about your condition beforehand. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, please contact the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center today to set up your free sleep apnea consultation.

posted by Dr. Candelaria at 1:29 PM

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sleep Apnea no "Get Out of Jail Free" Card for Mafioso

Carmen "The Cheeseman" DiNunzio, underboss of the Boston Mafia, was recently arraigned on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Bribery, Extortion, and various violations of gaming laws. When he was brought before the judge during his bail hearing, he cited sleep apnea as one of the reasons he should be released from prison. Other health ailments that he said should merit his release included type II diabetes, an overburdened heart, and clogged lungs, all of which are related to his severe obesity and are dangers of sleep apnea.

The 400-pound Mafioso was arrested when an FBI agent played the role of a state highway inspector seeking a bribe to give DiNunzio a $6 million contract for laying loam along Boston's Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. The mobster described himself and his operation to the agent, who was carrying a concealed microphone and video camera.

Although it may not merit release for a "dangerous" mobster, sleep apnea is a serious condition that is not given enough regard by police officers and prison administrators. Many people arrested for even such free-speech related offenses as participating in sit-ins have noted that police do not allow the use of CPAP machines in jail. However, it is possible that, with education, police may be more receptive to the use of oral appliance therapy.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you should consider the full range of treatment options beyond CPAP, whether or not you plan on being arrested! To learn more about sleep apnea treatment options, contact the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center today for your free sleep apnea consultation.

posted by Dr. Candelaria at 1:47 PM

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May is Better Sleep Awareness Month

Sponsored by the Better Sleep Council, Better Sleep Awareness month hopes to help the 40 % of Americans that suffer from some form of sleep disorder, including sleep apnea. Whether you know what's causing you to lose sleep or not, there are some ways that you can improve your level of rest.

One way to improve your level of rest is to take a nap. For most people, some time during the hours between 12 and 3 in the afternoon, our bodies begin to prepare themselves for sleep. A drop in body temperature, a drop in alertness, a decrease in pulse rate and breathing rate, all combine to help the body prepare itself for the mid-afternoon nap that has been banned by modern society. However, if you can, take a nap from between 10 to 50 minutes some time before 3pm. Let your body dictate when you take it, but make sure you're up again by 3pm to avoid interfering with your night sleep.

Second, make sure that you rest for at least half an hour before heading to bed at night. No matter when you're going to bed, taking that half hour--even at the expense of a half hour of actual sleep--can mean better rest for your entire night's rest.

And if daytime sleepiness persists, you may suffer from sleep apnea. To learn more about the dangers of sleep apnea and be diagnosed for the illness, please contact the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center for your free initial consultation.

posted by Dr. Candelaria at 8:12 AM