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, December 17, 2013

FAA Hoping to Ground Obstructive Sleep Apnea

In an effort to keep fatigued flyers out of the cockpit, the Federal Aviation Administration is pursuing a new policy that will require obese pilots to undergo testing and, if applicable, treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Obesity is one of the most common risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea, and both conditions can represent a serious risk to your health. 

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI, a measurement comparing patient bodily mass to height and weight to determine body fat percentage) of 30 or higher. Patients suffering from obesity might also see the development of a “spare tire” or “pot belly” around the midsection. 

You might observe weight gain well before you notice sleep apnea symptoms, or even realize you’re suffering from a sleep disorder. In addition to increasing the risk of sleep apnea, obesity can lead to the development of a wide variety of other major health problems in multiple areas of the body, including:

  • Cardiovascular: Increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke
  • Liver: Fat buildup can cause inflammation and scarring
  • Mental/mood: Depression, stress about health and appearance, social anxiety
  • Sexual: Erectile dysfunction, fertility problems, impotence, etc.
  • Skin: Poor regeneration and prolonged healing time after injury
  • Serious illnesses: Increased risk of diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, etc.
Obstructive sleep apnea shares some of the same complications as obesity, making it extremely important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sleep apnea treatment your doctor recommends can vary based on the unique characteristics of your health, with possible options ranging from diet and exercise to an oral appliance that keeps your airway open and functional during sleep. 

If you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, please contact a qualified sleep physician in your area or call 1-866-727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today. 

posted by Admin at 6:27 AM