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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.

Monday, April 27, 2015

CPAP Can Help Heart Rate, But Is There an Alternative?

For patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation due to sleep apnea, the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device can cut the risk of arrhythmia in half. While this news – outlined in a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology – is certainly positive for patients at risk for cardiovascular issues due to sleep apnea, many people who have undergone CPAP treatment might wonder if an alternative is available.

CPAP is a proven therapy for sleep apnea. Unfortunately, it has not proved popular with patients.

Many patients who use CPAP report difficulty sleeping due to the machine’s uncomfortable design and noisiness during operation. Others experience irritation of the sinuses, mouth, and eyes, as well as rashes where the mask straps onto the face.

Thankfully there are CPAP treatment alternatives that alleviate sleep apnea without the discomfort and disadvantages that cause compliance rates with the device to be so low. Alternative treatment options include:

Sleep apnea is a danger to the heart and other parts of the body, so seeking timely treatment is very important. For patients who have difficulty adjusting to CPAP during sleep, a specialist can discuss alternative treatment options that have less of an impact on your lifestyle.

Find a suitable CPAP treatment alternative today: Call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) to speak with a sleep specialist in your area. 

posted by Admin at 3:00 PM

Monday, April 20, 2015

Does Snoring Increase Dementia Risk?

Patients with sleep apnea often experience cognitive problems. However, if a bed partner has complained about your snoring, these issues might be a sign that you’re at greater risk for a serious neurological disorder.

A recent study at NYU found that patients with a sleep disorder tend to develop mild cognitive impairment more than a decade earlier than those who don’t suffer from chronic snoring, sleep apnea, or another condition that affects breathing during sleep. TIME Magazine reports that the researchers also found a connection between apnea-related snoring and dementia stemming from Alzheimer’s disease, though the link wasn’t as strong.

Mild cognitive impairment is a risk factor for dementia. Symptoms might include:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in mood
  • Trouble with decision making and planning
  • Impulsiveness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
Patients with sleep apnea may also experience cognitive difficulties and emotional and behavioral issues. If you snore, it’s important to take the problem seriously and seek early intervention for sleep apnea.

According to TIME, patients who underwent CPAP treatment for snoring experienced a reduction in their risk for mild cognitive impairment and dementia, though adherence rates were (predictably) low. Thankfully, alternative treatments for snoring and sleep apnea are available to help patients breathe normally during sleep without having to wear an uncomfortable CPAP mask.

For more information about snoring treatment, please call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) to speak to a local specialist.

posted by Admin at 12:00 PM

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sleep Apnea and Your Child’s Development

According to the American Sleep Apnea Foundation, one quarter of the children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could in fact be suffering from the effects of sleep apnea. The symptoms of these two conditions can manifest in similar ways in children, which is why it’s important for parents to know when their child might be suffering from a sleep disorder.

Both sleep apnea and ADHD can lead to behavioral issues and learning difficulties. For kids with sleep apnea, these symptoms are a result of poor, inconsistent sleep patterns.

Sleep apnea in children might be accompanied by the following behaviors:

  • Snoring
  • Restlessness
  • Odd position while sleeping
  • Bedwetting
  • Sleep walking
As with adults, children must undergo a sleep study to determine whether or not they have sleep apnea. If your child is diagnosed with sleep apnea, the specialist can discuss prospective treatment options.

Though some children overcome sleep apnea as their bodies develop, kids who don’t face the risk of stunted growth and ongoing struggles with ADHD-like symptoms. This could result in trouble with a child’s social skills, school performance, and, if left untreated, negatively affect their transition into the teenage years and adulthood.

If you suspect your child is suffering from sleep apnea, don’t delay getting a diagnosis. Please call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) to find a local sleep specialist in your area today.

posted by Admin at 8:36 AM

Monday, April 6, 2015

Can a Smartphone Catch Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

ZeeAppnea is a new app available for most smartphones that can detect lapses and other changes in breathing that indicate sleep apnea. In a recent interview with Medgadget, the physician who developed ZeeAppnea said it was the only app-based screening tool for sleep apnea symptoms available.

After downloading the app, users simply take earbuds with microphone capability and place them directly below the nostrils. The earbuds are held in place overnight by hooking the cords over the ears and affixing the cords to the cheeks with tape or an adhesive bandage.

The first alert for someone with sleep apnea symptoms is often a significant other whose sleep suffers because of their partner’s abnormal breathing. Some of the most common signs bedmates cite with concern include:

  • Snoring
  • Sudden stops and starts to breathing
  • Tossing and turning
  • Starting awake and gasping for breath
  • Irritability and other mood changes
In the past, sleep apnea patients simply had another person’s word that they had a problem. Some were incredulous, ignoring symptoms until the condition started having a negative impact on their overall health.

With smartphone technology like ZeeAppnea, hopefully the number of people with undiagnosed sleep apnea symptoms will decrease. However, there is no substitution for a sleep study and consultation with an experienced specialist. Call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) to speak to a qualified sleep doctor in your area.

posted by Admin at 8:01 AM

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Oral Appliances and Bite Changes: Why a Neyuromuscular Dentist may be the best Doctor to Treat Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a serious medical disorder that puts patients at risk for numerous cardiovascular problems, endocrine problems including changes in Growth hormone, insulin resistance, thyroid hormone and cortisol levels. Other related problems include excessive tiredness, short term memory loss, cognitive problems, marital strife and severely increased risks of motor vehicle accidents.

Sleep apnea is vastly underdiagnosed and currently it is thought that well over 90% of patients with sleep apnea remain undiagnosed.

The guidelines for treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea include oral appliance therapy and CPAP as first line therapies.  Severe sleep apnea guidelines still recommend CPAP as first line treatment and oral appliances as an alternative when patients can't or won't tolerate CPAP.

These guidelines are expected to change after long-term studies (88 months) have shown equal outcomes for severe sleep apnea treated with oral appliances or CPAP.

Studies have long shown CPAP to be extremely effective however on 25% of patients utilize all night on a regular basis.  Over 90% of patients offered a choice prefer oral appliance therapy over CPAP.

Oral Appliance therapy can cause tooth movement or  bite changes over time.
These changes appear to be self limiting and are not sufficiently problematic for most patients to discontinue treatment.  The nature of the changes are apparently healing of the stomatognathic musculature and TMJoints.

Evaluation of the end point of these changes in my office show that patients tested frequently heal to their neuromuscular trajectory. Even though the bites appear to be malocclusion patients rarely experience long-term issues.

The neuromuscular trajectory is the physiologic closing path of the mandible from rest position to first tooth contact.  Because this appearantly is a natural position to heal it may be ideal to restore bites to this position.  Some patients can have minor equilibration or coronoplasty to equalize the bite while others can be restored prosthetically or orthodontically.  Epigenetic (DNA Appliance) orthodontics is an excellent method of correcting the bite on a long term basis.

There is no specialty in TMJ or occlusal positioning but Neuromuscular Dentists understand the concepts of neuromuscular trajectory. Finding a neuromucular dentist can be difficult.

The best place to locate a neuromuscular dentist is thru ICCMO, the International College of CranioMandibular Orthopedics at their website or

More information on Sleep Apnea and TMJ disorders are available from the NIH at which contains an excellent report "CARDIOVASCULAR AND SLEEP-RELATED CONSEQUENCES OF TEMPOROMANDIBULAR DISORDERS"

More information is available  at and at

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posted by Dr Shapira at 1:52 PM