Monday, September 29, 2008

Heavy Snoring Increases Risk of Carotid Atherosclerosis

If you are a heavy snorer, you are more likely to suffer from carotid atherosclerosis, according to a recent study published in the journal "Sleep." Carotid atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque within the carotid arteries in the neck. This can lead to a narrowing of the artery, which can contribute to high blood pressure and reduce blood supply to the brain. However, the main danger of carotid atherosclerosis is that portions of the plaque can break off and lodge themselves in blood vessels in the brain, starving portions of the brain of blood supply, causing a stroke.

Researchers studied 110 adults, both snorers and nonsnorers, and evaluated them using polysomnography (commonly used to diagnose sleep apnea) and scanned them for carotid and femoral atherosclerosis. Based on the polysomnography, study subjects were divided into categories of mild, moderate, and heavy snorers. It was found that the risk of carotid atherosclerosis was 20 % for mild snorers, 32 % for moderate snorers, and 64 % for heavy snorers. There was no association between snoring and femoral atherosclerosis.

Snoring is more than just a nuisance. Not only can it be associated with sleep apnea, but it can have serious health complications of its own. If you are a snorer, you should seek snoring treatment today at the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in Gurnee, Illinois.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Contributes to Erectile Dysfunction

A recent study sponsored by the American Thoracic Society shows that erectile dysfunction (ED) can be one of the dangers of sleep apnea. The study looked at mice, exposing them to chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH), oxygen deprivation, similar to what a person with sleep apnea suffers. After a week of CIH exposure, the mice showed a 55 percent decline in their daily spontaneous erections. After five weeks of exposure, the mice showed a 60-fold increase in their average interval between mounting mates, and a 40-fold increase in latency to intromission. Latency to ejaculation was also seriously affected, increasing from just a few minutes to eleven hours.

The study looked at mice who were exposed to nocturnal CIH, and it monitored not only the visible sexual behaviors, but connected sexual hormones include testosterone and estrodiol, endothelial and neuronal nitric oxide synthase. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase is the hormone affected by sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil, the active ingredients in Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra, respectively.

If you want to sleep better and be able to better enjoy your waking hours, contact the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in Gurnee, Illinois, for a free sleep apnea consultation today.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Daytime Sleeping Leads to Poor Recovery

Earlier, we looked at how sleep apnea can lead to an increased risk of surgical complications. Now it seems that daytime sleeping, one of the possible outcomes of sleep apnea, can have a detrimental impact on the recovery of patients in rehabilitation following a heart attack, stroke, or orthopedic condition. According to a study published in the September issue of the journal Sleep, residents of rehab had significantly decreased functional recovery if they slept more during the day.

The study was conducted by researchers at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. The study focused primarily on daytime sleeping and correlated it with the rate of functional recovery following three months of rehab. Although it did not focus directly on sleep apnea, researchers described sleep disturbances as one of the primary causes leading to daytime sleeping.

The value of the study is that sleep apnea treatment and treatment of other sleep disturbances can be more readily quantified than other variables that inhibit recovery during rehab. Factors like cognitive function and the likelihood of hospital readmission, which have also been shown to be significant variables in determining a patient's rate of recovery during rehab, are less remediable. On the other hand, sleep apnea treatment, whether through CPAP or oral appliance therapy, has a consistent record of documentable success.

If you would like to learn more about how sleep apnea treatment can increase your general health and ability to recover from surgery or injury, contact the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in Gurnee, Illinois, today for a free initial consultation.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Have Diabetes? Get Screened for Sleep Apnea

About 85 % of sleep apnea cases among diabetics go undiagnosed, simply because doctors do not screen for the condition, according to a speaker at the 35th annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. The speaker urged doctors treating diabetics to institute effective screening protocols to identify possible sufferers and send them to specialists for diagnosis of sleep apnea and, if necessary, sleep apnea treatment.

As part of the numerous dangers of sleep apnea, sleep apnea sufferers are at an increased risk of suffering diabetes. Some studies suggest that sleep apnea may worsen insulin resistance. In addition, behavioral effects related to daytime sleepiness, such as snacking and stimulant consumption, followed by inactivity, can worsen diabetes and impair behaviors such as exercise and diet control that are an important part of diabetes treatment.

If you suffer from diabetes, it is important to be tested for sleep apnea to make sure that you can effectively treat both conditions together for maximum effect. If you have diabetes and have not been tested for sleep apnea, but think you might have the condition, contact the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in Gurnee, Illinois, today for a free initial sleep apnea consultation.