Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Electronic Nose Could Sniff Out Sleep Apnea

A so-called “electronic nose” that can detect and analyze molecules in breath has shown promise in diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a potentially deadly sleep disorder suffered by tens of millions of Americans.

Currently, OSA is most often diagnosed through an overnight sleep test, which can be costly and, for many, intrusive and technically intensive. But according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 25 edition of the European Respiratory Journal, an electronic nose demonstrated it may be able to confirm OSA by detecting upper-airway inflammation, which is common among those with obstructive sleep apnea.

Electronic noses are already used to distinguish between some chronic diseases. The devices work by analyzing the nature of organic matter present in breath. In a test of 40 patients, researchers found the electronic nose effectively diagnosed OSA with about 93 percent accuracy.

In addition to being a useful diagnostic tool for sleep apnea, researchers found the device was also useful for ruling out OSA in some patients. The findings of the electronic nose could also be used by doctors to decide whether a patient should undergo more thorough evaluation for sleep apnea or other conditions.

If you or a loved one snores nightly or experiences other symptoms of sleep apnea, a dentist with experience in the field of dental sleep medicine can help you determine if you have sleep apnea as well as recommend a customized treatment option for you.

Please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Body Language Says a Lot when it comes to Sleep Apnea

With the presidential debates in the national spotlight over the past few weeks, much has been made of body language. Although we primarily consider physical cues and what they convey in a waking state, certain body language indicators are also useful in the diagnosis of sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

In fact, many individuals with OSA are unaware they are suffering from a dangerous sleep disorder until a partner recognizes physical symptoms of sleep apnea and encourages them to seek assessment from a qualified sleep dentist or other medical professional who specializes in sleep disorders. While it’s important to note that physical indicators are not the only signs of sleep apnea, they are often the starting point that spurs diagnosis and treatment.

Loud, chronic snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea. Snoring alone, however, does not mean a person has OSA; in those with sleep apnea, snoring is accompanied by other physical symptoms that may include:

  • Frequent tossing and turning during sleep
  • Mouth breathing during sleep
  • Waking up choking or gasping

In addition to these bodily signs, people who suffer from OSA also tend to experience:

  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Difficulty focusing on tasks
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

If you or your partner snores regularly or demonstrates other symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact IHateCPAP.com to learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment and to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sleep Apnea Treatment May Improve Blood Pressure in Men, Study Indicates

Following physician-prescribed treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can reduce blood pressure in men who suffer from hypertension, according to the findings of a recent study.

The study examined the impact of treating sleep apnea with the regular use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in male patients diagnosed with high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes who also experience OSA. The details of the study appear in the Oct. 15 Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Researchers monitored more than 200 men as they received routine sleep apnea treatment using CPAP devices, which help those with OSA maintain an open airway and breathe freely during sleep by funneling air to the user through a mask. In the study, researchers conducted follow-up evaluations with the men at three to six months after the initiation of treatment and again at nine to 12 months after the start of CPAP treatment.

The study indicated that systolic and diastolic blood pressure dropped substantially following treatment. Unfortunately, many people with sleep apnea who are prescribed CPAP treatment outside of a clinical study setting discontinue its use.

Patients often find the CPAP devices cumbersome and the masks too uncomfortable to continue the long-term use necessary to maintain positive results. However, there are an increasing number of comfortable and effective sleep apnea treatment options available through the field of dental sleep medicine.

If you or your partner snores regularly or displays other symptoms of sleep apnea, a qualified sleep dentist may be able to prescribe a custom-made oral appliance or other treatment option.

Please contact IHateCPAP.com to learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment or to locate an experienced sleep dentist near you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Study Says Snoring Alone Not Linked to Heart Disease, but is a Warning Sign of Sleep Apnea

Much has been made about a recent Australian study that indicates snoring—independent of sleep apnea—does not increase an individual’s chance for developing heart disease, which is considered one of the major risk factors of those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

They key phrase to remember when considering this study is “independent of sleep apnea.” Although snoring is among the most common symptoms of sleep apnea, those who snore regularly do not always have sleep apnea.

Prior to the study conducted via Australia’s Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, research indicated that chronic snoring was linked with sleep apnea and, thus, an increased risk of health problems including heart disease and stroke. While those with OSA do face a heightened risk of cardiovascular problems, previous studies had never focused directly on whether snoring alone—minus diagnosed sleep apnea—was a risk factor for heart problems.

The Australian study focused on 380 men and women and found that snoring alone did not contribute in an increased rate of cardiovascular disease. That said, if you or a loved one snores regularly, it’s advisable to undergo testing for sleep apnea, which can heighten your risk for cardiovascular disease and other health problems.

Treatment for sleep apnea continues to improve, and today there are a number of comfortable and effective options available through the field of dental sleep medicine.

If you would like to learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.