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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, October 30, 2009

Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

Many deaths among people 40 or older which are attributed to heart disease and transportation accidents may actually be related to an unseen epidemic of snoring and sleep apnea. Apnea, a potentially deadly phantom, is the frequent stoppage of breathing caused by relaxed tissues in the throat during sleep.

Snoring is caused by vibrations of the relaxed throat tissues and is often the precursor or companion of sleep apnea. Although effective medical treatment for sleep apnea exists, this information has not entered routine medical practice nor does the public recognize the dangers. Unfortunately, even when apnea is suspected, it may be difficult to obtain qualified care. As a result, 95% of the millions of people who suffer from sleep apnea have not and may never be diagnosed, let alone treated. Nevertheless, the informed person with sleep apnea can take the initiative to get appropriate diagnosis and treatment and take the steps necessary to assure recovery.

There are many treatments available for sleep apnea and snoring. If you live in the Gurnee, Illinois area, dentist Dr. Ira Shapira has helped countless people suffering from these conditions, and we can help you, too. Please contact us today.

posted by Lynn at 11:21 AM

What is OSA?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a very common, but serious, medical condition that affects millions of Americans. OSA is characterized by intermittent periods of breathing cessation while you sleep. Some sleep apneics stop breathing up to several hundred times a night. Snoring is often associated with sleep apnea. Apnea actually comes from the Greek and means "without breath."

OSA is caused by a blockage of your airway; the blockage typically occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses and closes while you sleep. In another type of sleep apena, central sleep apnea (CSA), the airway is not fully blocked but the brain fails to signal your muscles to breathe. There is also mixed sleep apnea, which, as its name implies, is a combination of OSA and CSA. It is estimated that 12 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea. Like many diseases and conditions, family members are affected by the condition; in this case, your partner will certainly be affected by your interrupted sleep and may even hear you gasping for air in the middle of the night. This can be quite scary because it sounds like you’re suffocating.

Some of the risk factors for sleep apnea are:

Being male
Being overweight
Being over the age of forty

However, sleep apnea can affect females, those who are not overweight and can even affect children. Many cases of sleep apnea go undiagnosed and, therefore, also go untreated. If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause a whole host of medical problems including these signs and symptoms of sleep apnea:

Heart disease
Diabetes
Stroke
Depression
Anxiety
High blood pressure
Fatigue
Concentration problems
Memory problems

As you can see by this only partial list of medical problems associated with sleep apnea, it cannot be ignored. Sleep apnea specialists such as Gurnee, Illinois dentist, Dr. Ira Shapira, can evaluate your case thoroughly and then recommend a treatment plan that is best suited for your individual case.

Please contact Dr. Shapira's Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment Center today to schedule your initial appointment to be evaluated for OSA.

posted by Lynn at 8:10 AM

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Are Sleep Apnea and Snoring the Same?

The simple answer is No, snoring and sleep apnea are two very different problems. I say "problems" because both of them can interrupt your sleep and that of your partner, and interrupted sleep can lead to some very serious medical problems. Snoring is simply the noise caused by an obstruction in the airway while you sleep. The actual snoring noise is the result of the uvula and soft palate vibrating while you inhale and exhale. When you sleep, the muscles and soft tissue in your mouth and throat relax, which causes your airway to become smaller; if it becomes small enough, those two parts of your mouth will vibrate.

Sleep apnea, on the other hand, can be very serious and much more than an annoyance to your partner. People with sleep apnea actually stop breathing while they sleep; some people stop breathing for several seconds several hundred times a night. If your partner has stopped breathing while sleeping, you know this can be quite alarming! But more than that, sleep apnea can cause serious health issues such as:

Stroke
Cardiac problems
Memory problems
Concentration problems
Fatigue
High blood pressure
Diabetes
Anxiety
Depression

If you or your partner snore or feel you may suffer from sleep apnea, there are ways to treat both of these conditions to save your health and improve your sleep.

If you live in the Gurnee, Illinois area, please contact sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Ira Shapira today to schedule an initial consultation.

posted by Lynn at 10:43 AM

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Aussies Develop New Way to Detect Sleep Apnea

Australian scientists have developed a new method for detecting sleep apnea. Traditionally, the diagnosis of sleep apnea required an overnight stay at a hospital coupled with invasive machines that monitor the patient's sleep. This new method that has been developed is non-invasive and can diagnose sleep apnea with 90% accuracy.

This new method actually records and analyzes the sonic characteristics of the patient's snoring. Snoring is one of the common symptoms of sleep apnea. While snoring is prevalent in sleep apnea sufferers, the presence of snoring doesn't necessarily mean that the patient has sleep apnea. That's where this new, non-invasive procedure comes in. This new procedure records your snores and monitors the change in frequency, pitch and various other characteristics of snores to diagnose sleep apnea. This sort of information provides doctors with important information about how the airways in your body are being obstructed. This can lead to a more proper diagnosis of your sleep apnea, if you have it at all.

Eventually, the goal for this technology is to provide home screening kits to people who think they are suffering from sleep apnea. This will prevent the long lines that have developed for sleep apnea tests at hospitals and other screening centers. While this technology can detect sleep apnea with 90% accuracy, this method is still seen as a supplemental test to be performed prior to an actual sleep apnea screening at a hospital or screening center. The scientists involved with this device hope that home screening kits will be available to the general public in the next three to five years.

If you or your partner snore or stops breathing during the night, please contact Gurnee, Illinois sleep dentist, Dr. Ira Shapira.

posted by Lynn at 8:15 AM

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sleep Apnea Sufferers May Be Road Hazard

According to an article just published today by Reuters Health, people who suffer from sleep apnea are likely to be less alert while driving and may be more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol than those who don't suffer from this breathing disorder. Untreated sleep apnea can be very dangerous and a serious health risk.

Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing while sleeping. People with sleep apnea may stop breathing for several seconds several hundred times a night. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects millions of Americans and is characterized by a temporary collapse of the tissues in the back of the throat during sleep, causing you to stop breathing for brief periods of time. Untreated sleep apnea may lead to:

High blood pressure
Heart attack
Depression
Anxiety
Diabetes
Fatigue
Stroke
Mood swings
Memory problems

According to statistics, OSA may be a factor in as many as 1,400 traffic fatalities annually in the United States. The study found that drivers suffering from sleep apnea had more difficulty staying in their lane and were more likely to crash during a simulated virtual road trip than drivers without OSA.

If you live in the Gurnee, Illinois area and feel you or your partner may suffer from sleep apnea, Dr. Ira Shapira, sleep apnea specialist, will meet with you and perform a complete evaluation. There are many viable sleep apnea treatment options available today, and Dr. Shapira can certainly help you just as he has helped thousands of others suffering from this dangerous disorder.

posted by Lynn at 8:26 AM