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.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Damaging Effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea May be Evident Within 30 Days


The damaging effects of the potentially deadly sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be evident within as little as 30 days after the onset of the condition, according to a model designed by researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.

Although OSA has long been associated with an increased risk of stroke, the effect of sleep apnea on brain vessels is still unclear. Previous study models have exposed animals to a decrease in blood oxygen levels in order to attempt to replicate the effects of apnea, in which a person’s breathing stops periodically during sleep.

The new model developed by Texas researchers induces a closure of the airway to more thoroughly reflect true sleep apnea. Using this method, researchers induced 30 apneas of 10 seconds each per hour in animals for eight hours during sleep cycles.

Researchers found that after just 30 days of exposure, the brain vessel function was reduced by as much as 22 percent, dramatically increasing the risk for stroke. The findings indicate that damage to the vascular lining in brain arteries could be a factor that predisposes people with OSA to stroke.

Although obstructive sleep apnea is a dangerous and widespread affliction that affects tens of millions of Americans, it is treatable. The field of dental sleep medicine offers a number of treatment options that are effective and more comfortable than traditional continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices.

A qualified sleep dentist can assess your sleep apnea symptoms and recommend a treatment option specific to your needs, including oral appliances.

If you or a loved one experiences chronic snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate an experienced sleep dentist near you.

posted by Steve at 8:16 AM