Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Ticklish Treatment for Baby with Sleep Apnea

Like many infants born prematurely, Benn Norris suffers from sleep apnea. Because sleep apnea treatment options for babies are limited, Benn’s mother, Sanchia Norris, employs a unique tactic to rouse her son when his breathing stops during sleep: tickling.

According to a Dec. 28 article in London’s The Daily Mail, a breathing monitor sounds an alarm when Benn’s respiration is interrupted. His mother then responds to restart his breathing.

“I have to stimulate him in some way to wake him up which kickstarts him into breathing again,” Sanchia Norris says in the article. “I either tickle him on the soles of his feet, or under his chin and on his stomach. It is enough to start him breathing again.”

Sleep apnea in premature newborns is often caused by weak or underdeveloped muscles that help maintain an open airway. Most infants with sleep apnea grow out of the condition; however the dangers of sleep apnea are life-threatening.

Treatment for infants with sleep apnea involves attentiveness and physical stimulation, such as the method used by Sanchia Norris. In extreme cases of infant sleep apnea, breathing machines may be used.

Common forms of treatment for adult sleep apnea—such as oral appliances or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices—are not viable options for babies.

If you or a loved one suffer from sleep apnea symptoms, a dentist who specializes in sleep apnea may be able to help determine the cause of your condition and recommend a safe and effective treatment.

Please contact us to locate a qualified sleep apnea dentist near you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Untreated Sleep Apnea Poses Risks to Sufferers and Innocent People

Sleep disorders, and in particular obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), have received much media attention of late as an advisory panel to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently recommended sleep apnea screenings for commercial truck drivers and a new study indicated that nearly half of all police officers have symptoms of sleep disorders.

Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders pose health hazards to the individuals who suffer from them, but when they affect those who operate heavy machinery or work in the public service sector, innocent people can also be adversely impacted.

Many articles and much commentary surrounding sleep disorders and professions such as truck drivers and police focus on sleep apnea symptoms and risks. While it is certainly important to acknowledge these factors, it is also important to understand that there are a number of treatment options available that allow those with OSA to function safely and normally during their waking hours.

Sleep apnea treatment is not limited to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices. Although CPAP has proven effective at helping those with OSA maintain unobstructed airways, many patients find the CPAP masks uncomfortable and stop using the devices.

An increasing number of patients are successfully treating sleep apnea and other sleep disorders with the use of oral appliances. There are a number of dentists nationwide who specialize in sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. A consultation with one of these dentists can help determine the cause of your sleep disorder and indicate the best treatment option for your individual condition.

If you believe you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, please contact a qualified sleep apnea dentist near you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Social Support May Help Sleep Apnea Sufferers Stick to Treatment

Although the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device can be effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), many people who try CPAP do not continue its use long-term.

Ongoing research being conducted at the Penn State College of Medicine, however, indicates that OSA sufferers are more likely to adhere to sleep apnea treatment if a partner or parent is actively involved. Researchers reviewed 80 studies regarding sleep apnea treatment to determine key factors that triggered patients to seek sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, as well as circumstances that affected patients’ likelihood to stick to treatment.

“Collectively, these studies suggest that patients who experience difficulties and proactively seek solutions to resolve problems are more likely to be adherent than those who use passive coping styles,” states the report published in the December issue of Sleep Medicine Reviews. Researchers also noted that patients who have access to social support, such as a partner or parent, are more likely to adhere to treatment long-term.

While the research focuses primarily on CPAP use, their findings may be of use to those who seek other forms of sleep apnea treatment. Numerous studies on people with various forms of addiction or other physical health problems have found that individuals who have access to social support—including regular phone calls, group meetings, routine conversations with family or spouses, or scheduled appointments with doctors and other healthcare providers—have an increased likelihood of following through on their treatment.

If you believe you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea symptoms, please contact a dentist near you who specializes in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to life-threatening health problems.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Teeth Grinding During Sleep can be Indicator of Sleep Apnea

Loud, chronic snoring is the symptom most commonly associated with sleep apnea.

But teeth grinding can also accompany obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep disorders. In addition to serving as a potential warning sign of sleep apnea, sleep-related bruxism—grinding your teeth while you sleep—can also lead to tooth and jaw problems.

Nighttime teeth grinding can cause premature wear on your teeth, as well as place excessive pressure on your jaw and the connective network of joints, muscles, tendons, nerves and bones between your jaw and your skull. According to a Dec. 6 CNN Health blog titled “Teeth-grinding could signal sleep problems,” early recognition of sleep-related bruxism could also prove helpful in diagnosing sleep disorders and allow for earlier treatment, which would reduce the risk of the dangerous health conditions associated with sleep apnea.

Teeth grinding during sleep occurs in approximately 14 to 17 percent of children, according to the blog, and seems to be hereditary. If sleep apnea or other sleep disorders also run in the family, sleep-related bruxism may warrant additional testing for OSA.

For some patients, treatment options such as custom-fit oral appliances can be effective in both maintaining a positive airway and eliminating teeth grinding.

If you experience snoring, teeth grinding or other symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact a dentist near you who specializes in sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sleep Apnea Diagnosis Can Make Health And Life Insurance Extremely Expensive. Insurance Agents Have Experienced Problems Insuring Clients

Sleep Apnea Diagnosis Can Make Health And Life Insurance Extremely Expensive. Insurance Agents Have Experienced Problems Insuring Clients Diagnosed With Sleep Apnea.

Adverse Insurance Ratings can be avoided by doing off the grid sleep studies.

Sleep Apnea is a dangerous problem that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, excessive daytime sleepiness, short-term memory loss and increases in motor vehicle accidents. It is essential to diagnose and treat sleep apnea. One study showed a 36% decrease in 8 year survival comparing treated and untreated sleep apnea. Learn more about the dangers of sleep apnea @

A problem frequently experienced is that the cost of health, life and disability insurance policies can increase exponentially following diagnosis of sleep apnea. This is problematic for owners of small businesses and wealthy individuals who utilize life insurance to protect their estates.

Financially savvy patients are turning to off the record sleep studies. Patients pay for their sleep studies and treatment in cash to avoid any footprints of the diagnosis. Patient’s records may be identified only by numerical accounts or convenient name misspellings or addition of new names can protect patient’s identities. (Example Barack Obama could become Eric B Obama).

Cash payment secures patient privacy. HIPPA regulations theoretically protect our personal medical information. When obtaining new insurance you forfeit these HIPPA rights in order to qualify for coverage. Insurance benefits can be denied in the future if there is a record of undisclosed illness.

There are two primary treatments for sleep apnea, CPAP and Oral Appliances. Severe Sleep Apnea especially in morbidly obese patients is usually CPAP initially and an Oral Appliance for patients who don’t tolerate CPAP. Studies have shown that the majority of patients reject CPAP and prefer comfortable oral appliances when offered a choice of treatments. Learn more about Oral Appliance therapy for Sleep Apnea at

Patients who are interested in off the grid sleep studies can contact Dr Ira L Shapira, a Gurnee, Il dentist who has been treating Sleep Apnea with oral appliances since the early 1980’s. As a Visiting Assistant Professor at Rush Medical Schools Sleep Center he did research on jaw position and Sleep Apnea.

Dr Shapira is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and practices Dental Sleep Medicine at Delany Dental Care in Gurnee and at Chicagoland Dental Sleep Medicine Associates in Skokie, Schaumburg and Vernon Hills. In Skokie his practice is located in American Sleep Medicine and in Vernon Hills he utilizes the office of Sleep and Behavioral Medicine.

Dr Shapira realizes the importance of accurate diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea but also understands the financial impact a diagnosis of sleep apnea can create. Working to create both value and privacy for his patients he arranges for off the grid sleep studies. Baseline studies are essential for diagnosis and titration sleep studies insure treatment efficacy. Post-treatment studies are essential for Oral Appliance Therapy and for CPAP therapy.

Special off the grid pricing has been arranged for Dr Shapira’s sleep patients desiring privacy. Contact Dr Shapira at 1-8-NO-PAP-MASK or at 847-623-5530 for more information on insuring your medical privacy.

Dr Shapira stresses that avoiding sleep studies can have serious medical consequences. Diagnosis and Treatment are the most important medical considerations.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Importance of REM Sleep Another Reason to Seek Sleep Apnea Treatment

There are a number of reasons why it’s important to treat sleep apnea, many of them related to the fact that sleep apnea can increase your risk for severe health problems including hypertension, heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure.

Sometimes ignored in the wake of these potentially life-threatening complications is the fact that sleep apnea prevents those who suffer from the condition from receiving a good night’s sleep. Sleep apnea is especially disruptive to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the state of deep sleep associated with dreaming.

And recent research conducted at the University of California at Berkeley indicates that REM sleep is integral for reasons other than leaving you refreshed and alert. According to researchers, dreaming eases the stress associated with painful memories.

“During REM sleep, memories are being reactivated, put in perspective, and connected and integrated, but in a state where stress neurochemicals are beneficially suppressed,” said Els van der Helm, one of the study’s lead authors. The study was published in the Nov. 23 edition of Current Biology.

Research focused on 35 adult participants divided into two groups. The members of each group viewed 150 images intended to trigger emotions twice, 12 hours apart, as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner measured their brain activity.

Half of the participants looked at the images in the morning and evening, remaining awake between the viewings. The other 50 percent viewed the images in the evening and the next morning, following a full night’s sleep.

Those who slept between the viewings reported a lessened emotional reaction on second exposure to the images. Researchers also recorded brain activity while participants slept and found that certain electrical activity patterns decreased during REM sleep, indicating that reduced levels of brain neurochemicals associated with stress tempered emotional reactions.

The benefits of deep, REM sleep are just another reason to seek diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea if you suffer any symptoms of this dangerous sleep disorder.

If you experience chronic snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact a dentist near you who specializes in sleep disorders.

Friday, November 18, 2011

You Don’t Have to Bear Sleep Apnea

Recently, a Japanese-developed robotic pillow that resembles a stuffed polar bear has received attention as a potential treatment for snoring and sleep apnea.

The bear pillow, which you can see in this video, features a sensor that detects the decibel levels of your snoring. When your snoring reaches a preset level, the bear’s paw moves to brush your face, ostensibly stopping your snoring and returning you to restful sleep.

The device also monitors blood-oxygen levels, and if its sensors detect that your levels are too low, the bear’s paw will also be activated.

Although the bear pillow is being touted as a sleep apnea treatment, its effectiveness is questionable at best. The bear pillow, known as Jukusui-kun, which translates as “deep sleep,” does not address the cause of sleep apnea, which is most often an airway obstruction.

In addition to not treating the cause, the bear pillow may also jar an individual back into consciousness. Proven sleep apnea treatments are designed to maintain your airflow while allowing you to sleep through the night.

If you suffer from snoring and other symptoms of sleep apnea, there are effective treatment options available. To learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, please contact a dentist who specializes in sleep disorders near you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sleep Apnea and Driving Dangers

As the health risks of sleep apnea have become apparent and an increasing number of effective treatment options become have become available, more people have been willing to seek diagnosis and help for this dangerous sleep disorder.

Individuals in one demographic group, however, may actually purposely conceal the symptoms of sleep apnea for fear of losing their jobs. Truckers interviewed for a recent sleep apnea article in the Springfield, Mo., News-Leader said reporting snoring or other signs of sleep apnea can result in difficulty being cleared to drive.

One of the side-effects of sleep apnea is drowsiness during waking hours, a complication that is of concern to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which oversees commercial trucking. A 2002 study sponsored by the FMCSA indicated that nearly one-third of commercial truck drivers may suffer from sleep apnea.

Truckers who hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) undergo physical exams and sleep screenings every other year. Drivers already diagnosed with sleep apnea undergo annual evaluations.

The sleep-related segments of these reviews entail questionnaires about sleeping habits and sleep disorder symptoms, as well as a physical trial known as the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test, which monitors a subject’s ability to remain alert in a quiet, dimly lit room for extended periods.

One trucker interviewed for the Nov. 14 News-Leader story said, “Anybody with a CDL knows you’re never supposed to tell the medical doctor that you snore. If you have sleep apnea, you’re a liability to the company.”

Unfortunately, failure to seek sleep apnea treatment can result in hazards to both the individual with the sleep disorder and others who are put at risk when someone who suffers from sleep apnea drives while drowsy.

If you experience the symptoms of sleep apnea, there are a number of successful treatment options available. To learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, please contact a dentist who specializes in sleep apnea near you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Study Finds Link between Sleep Apnea, Obesity and Cognitive Abilities in Kids

Individually, sleep apnea, obesity and cognitive problems can be a source of behavior problems and dysfunction in children. But new research indicates these conditions may be connected and can actually aggravate the effects of one another.

A study conducted at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital and Pritzker School of Medicine focused on more than 350 children between the ages of 6 and 10. The children underwent testing related to sleep, cognitive skills and body weight, and researchers discovered that the three factors have an interactive association.

For example, cognitive abilities can be negatively impacted by problems such as sleep disorders and obesity. Likewise, according to the study published in this week’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, “poorer integrative mental processing may place a child at a bigger risk for adverse health outcomes.”

Although the study did not establish the causal relationship between sleep apnea, obesity and cognitive skills, the research is notable for being the first to probe all three factors simultaneously. Previous studies have evaluated the conditions separately, although prior research has also indicated a link between sleep disorders and obesity.

This study suggests that when physicians examine children’s obesity issues, they should also screen for cognitive problems and sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea.

To learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and sleep apnea treatment for children, please contact a dentist who specializes in sleep disorders near you.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sleep Apnea and a Mediterranean Diet

A widely reported recent study suggests that eating a Mediterranean diet along with engaging in regular physical activity can help relieve some symptoms of sleep apnea.

The study’s findings were published recently in the European Respiratory Journal and indicated that sleep apnea patients who followed a Mediterranean diet experienced fewer breathing interruptions during rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, a stage of deep sleep that typically accounts for about one-quarter of total sleeping time. But just what does a Mediterranean diet entail?

A Mediterranean diet includes staples of meals originating in Mediterranean nations such as Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain. Mediterranean dishes often feature fresh ingredients over processed foods and include more vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains, and less red meat.

Ingredients commonly used in a Mediterranean diet include:

  • Broccoli
  • Chickpeas
  • Eggplant
  • Fish
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Peppers
  • Red wine (in moderation, of course)
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

A Mediterranean diet also favors organic flavorings over artificial ones. This includes the use of fresh basil, oregano, lemon, rosemary and garlic, among others.

In addition to seeming to reduce some sleep apnea symptoms, a Mediterranean diet has other health benefits as well. Foods in the Mediterranean diet tend to be low in saturated fat and high in flavonoids and antioxidants, which are thought to help prevent cancer.

To learn more about sleep apnea treatment options, please contact a dentist who specializes in sleep disorders near you.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Study Finds High Rate of Sleep Apnea Among Veterans with PTSD, Brain Injuries

Sleep disorders—including sleep apnea—are common among American veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a recent study conducted at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Research focused on 317 soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries or both. The study found that nearly half of the soldiers reported insomnia and more than half suffered from sleep apnea.

Researchers followed 135 soldiers with PTSD, 116 veterans with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and 66 soldiers with both conditions. According to the study, the findings of which were reported at the recent annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, 56 percent of the soldiers suffered from obstructive sleep apnea, while 49 percent experienced insomnia.

Meanwhile, 71 percent of the war veterans who participated in the research experienced fragmented nighttime sleep, and 87 percent were hypersomniac, or drowsy during waking hours.

Sleep apnea was more common in soldiers with PTSD than in those who suffered brain injuries. Seventy-eight percent of soldiers with PTSD were diagnosed with sleep apnea.

If sleep apnea treatment is not pursued, the condition can lead to progressive and potentially fatal health problems.

To learn more about sleep apnea and sleep apnea treatment, please contact a dentist near you who specializes in sleep disorder treatment.

Resistant Hypertension? New Article in Hypertension Identifies Sleep Apnea As The Most Common Secondary Cause Of Resistant Hypertension

Treatment of Sleep Apnea is extremely important with hypertension. Effective treatment with oral appliances or CPAP is extremely important in patients with resistant hypertension. The abstract can be found below.

Treatment of Sleep Apnea is essential. If you or your loved one are one of the 60% of patients who do not tolerate CPAP call today to schedule an appointment for a comfortable oral appliance.

Hypertension. 2011 Nov;58(5):811-7. Epub 2011 Oct 3.
Obstructive sleep apnea: the most common secondary cause of hypertension associated with resistant hypertension.
Pedrosa RP, Drager LF, Gonzaga CC, Sousa MG, de Paula LK, Amaro AC, Amodeo C, Bortolotto LA, Krieger EM, Bradley TD, Lorenzi-Filho G.
Sleep Laboratory, Pulmonary Division, Heart Institute, Av Enéas Carvalho de Aguiar 44, São Paulo, Brazil.
Recognition and treatment of secondary causes of hypertension among patients with resistant hypertension may help to control blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risk. However, there are no studies systematically evaluating secondary causes of hypertension according to the Seventh Joint National Committee. Consecutive patients with resistant hypertension were investigated for known causes of hypertension irrespective of symptoms and signs, including aortic coarctation, Cushing syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, drugs, pheochromocytoma, primary aldosteronism, renal parenchymal disease, renovascular hypertension, and thyroid disorders. Among 125 patients (age: 52±1 years, 43% males, systolic and diastolic blood pressure: 176±31 and 107±19 mm Hg, respectively), obstructive sleep apnea (apnea-hypopnea index: >15 events per hour) was the most common condition associated with resistant hypertension (64.0%), followed by primary aldosteronism (5.6%), renal artery stenosis (2.4%), renal parenchymal disease (1.6%), oral contraceptives (1.6%), and thyroid disorders (0.8%). In 34.4%, no secondary cause of hypertension was identified (primary hypertension). Two concomitant secondary causes of hypertension were found in 6.4% of patients. Age >50 years (odds ratio: 5.2 [95% CI: 1.9-14.2]; P<0.01), neck circumference ≥41 cm for women and ≥43 cm for men (odds ratio: 4.7 [95% CI: 1.3-16.9]; P=0.02), and presence of snoring (odds ratio: 3.7 [95% CI: 1.3-11]; P=0.02) were predictors of obstructive sleep apnea. In conclusion, obstructive sleep apnea appears to be the most common condition associated with resistant hypertension. Age >50 years, large neck circumference measurement, and snoring are good predictors of obstructive sleep apnea in this populati
Can J Cardiol. 2011 May-Jun;27(3):319-38.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Former NFL Players Score Touchdown for Sleep Apnea Awareness

Sleep apnea awareness has been on something of a winning streak lately, thanks in part to a number of former National Football League (NFL) players discussing their battles with the dangerous affliction.

Former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell recently disclosed how the symptoms of sleep apnea caused him to nod off in team meetings and lose focus on the football field. Meanwhile, two former San Diego Chargers players—offensive lineman Aaron Taylor and kicker Rolf Benirschke—are collaborating on a sleep apnea patient support program.

Sleep apnea, of course, is not limited to football players and other athletes. Tens of millions of Americans suffer from this sleep disorder, which can lead to potentially fatal health complications.

In fact, NFL Hall of Fame defensive lineman Reggie White suffered from sleep apnea and died in 2004 from cardiac arrhythmia, one of the most common risks of untreated sleep apnea. After White’s death, his wife cofounded the Reggie White Sleep Disorders & Education Foundation to raise awareness about sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

To learn more about sleep apnea and sleep apnea treatment options, please contact a doctor near you who specializes in sleep disorder treatment.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Alternative Sleep Apnea Treatments to CPAP

Continuous positive airflow pressure (CPAP) devices are effective in treating sleep apnea in both children and adults. If the patients actually wear the masks.

CPAP entails the use of a small machine that circulates a continuous stream of air through a tube connected to a mask you wear while you sleep. The airflow prevents the tissues in your throat from collapsing and allows uninterrupted breathing.

Unfortunately, studies have revealed that patients’ long-term compliance with CPAP treatment is low. Most research regarding CPAP use indicates that about one-quarter to one-third of sleep apnea patients who try CPAP stop using the device.

Because the dangers of sleep apnea are potentially fatal and include increased risk for heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure, it’s important for those who are unable to adjust to the CPAP device to seek alternative treatment.

Oral appliances, which are similar to mouthguards, are often successful in treating sleep apnea patients who find they can’t wear the CPAP mask. There are a number of sleep apnea oral appliances available, and finding the right treatment option for your individual condition can be determined during a consultation with a dentist experienced in sleep apnea treatment.

To learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, please contact a dentist who specializes in sleep disorders near you.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SomnoDent Medicare Approved

This year, Medicare began funding the use of oral appliance therapy for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, dependent on approval. Now, the country's most popular oral appliance has been approved for coverage.

In order to be covered, an oral appliance must meet certain characteristics, including:

  • Be used for reducing upper airway collapsibility.
  • Having a hinged or jointed mechanism
  • Be customized
  • Be capable of adjustment in increments of one millimeter
  • Must retain adjustment

After review, the Pricing, Data Analysis, and Coding (PDAC) Medicare Contractor and each of the four Durable Medicare Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractors have determined that the appropriate billing code for the device is E0486, a covered treatment code. This includes the SomnoDent Classic, the SomnoDent Flex, and the SomnoDent Edentulous.

We are happy that oral appliance therapy has finally been recognized for its successful and comfortable treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

If you would like to learn more about the coverage and billing of oral appliance therapy, please contact a local sleep dentist today.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Wireless Network for Monitoring Sleep Apnea

Researchers at the University of Utah have announced that they have developed a wireless network that can monitor sleep apnea and other sleep breathing disorders without placing sensors on the patient. The technology, named BreathTaking, uses a network of 20 wireless transceivers that are placed around a hospital bed. This system reliably detected the breathing of the subject and accurately estimated the breathing rate to within 0.4 breathes per minute based on only 30 seconds of data.

The network detects the sound of a patient's breathing and collates data on the strength of the sound from all the different sensors, allowing the breathing of a patient to be tracked no matter where the patient is in the bed. On the positive side, the system allows for the tracking of patient breathing without attaching sensors to the patient, which itself can be disruptive of sleep or even dangerous. One potential use of the system proposed by inventors is for SIDS monitoring--it could identify immediately when a baby stopped breathing without the need for placing sensors on the baby.

Researchers say that it will likely take at least five years before the product is market-ready, but once available it can be used to noninvasively track apneic events in patients and evaluate the success of various sleep apnea treatments, such as oral sleep appliances.

To learn more about the most recent advancements in sleep apnea treatment that allows you to have comfortable relief from this life-threatening condition, please contact a local sleep dentist.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Woman Wages War against Truckers' Sleep Apnea

A New Braunfels, Texas woman, Wanda Lindsay, has begun a crusade against sleep apnea in truckers. She lost her husband John when a semi truck slammed into the back of their stopped car in a construction zone. The truck was traveling over 65 miles an hour and had its cruise control on. It did not apply its brakes prior to the accident. The truck driver claims he had glanced away from the road and looked back to see the stopped car, but without enough time to stop. The widow thinks the truth is different from his official story.

The truck driver had been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea weeks before the accident, but had not received any treatment. Sleep apnea puts drivers at an increased risk of falling asleep behind the wheel and being involved in just the type of accident that killed John Lindsay.

The trucking company, Celadon, claims it had never seen those test results, or else the driver would not have been on the road that day. The question is, why hadn't it seen those results?

Nearly a third of truckers and other commercial drivers suffer from sleep apnea, and when these vehicles are involved in a deadly accident, it is someone other than the trucker that dies, nearly nine times out of ten. Truck drivers need to be tested for sleep apnea and those results need to be made known to their companies. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has urged mandatory testing of truck drivers and other commercial drivers and pilots since 2009, but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has spent years considering the issue but has not yet issued any rules.

If you want to help get truckers with sleep apnea off the road, you can visit the website of the John Lindsay Foundation to contribute to the cause.

If you fear you may be suffering from sleep apnea, if you have the symptoms of sleep apnea, you should be tested. And if you are looking to learn more about all your sleep apnea treatment options, please contact a local sleep dentist today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lack of Sleep Impacts Sex Life

A new study has compiled previous research to emphasize again that poor or fragmented sleep can negatively impact testosterone levels in both men and women. Testosterone is an important hormone for regulating sexual desire in both sexes. Typically, testosterone levels rise overnight, then decrease during the day. Research has shown that the periods of accumulation of the hormone correspond with REM sleep, the very sleep you miss out on if you are suffering from sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea.

A 2010 study focusing on surgical treatment of chronic sinus infections showed that the number of people reporting sexual dysfunction decreased significantly and the level of sexual activity increased significantly when people had surgical treatment of their sinusitis. This increase also went along with improved sleep patterns.

Sexual function and sexual activity are important parts of maintaining a high quality of life. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, they may be negatively impacted. Treatment can significantly improve them.

To learn more about how obstructive sleep apnea treatment can improve your quality of life, please contact a local sleep dentist today.