Monday, December 23, 2013

Childhood Sleep Apnea Linked to Later Behavior Issues, Study Says

The medical journal Pediatrics recently published a statistical analysis of childhood sleep patterns that indicated children as young as six months old who experience sleep apnea symptoms are at significant risk of exhibiting behavioral problems as they develop. If you think your child is suffering from a sleep disorder, it’s important to explore sleep apnea treatment sooner than later to encourage healthy growth.

Children need significantly more sleep than adults to stay alert and retain optimal health. By obstructing the airway and making sufferers wake up, however briefly, to catch their breath, apnea and other sleep disorders can interrupt your good night’s rest hundreds of times per night, depending on severity.

Kids with sleep apnea can suffer not only from the established health risks of the disorder but mental and emotional effects from insufficient sleep as well. The developmental impact of sleep apnea on children can manifest as:

  • Emotional imbalance
  • Difficulty coping with stress, possibly leading to frequent crying or temper tantrums
  • Short attention spans, impulsiveness and hyperactivity
  • Poor performance in school due to inability to concentrate, lack of engagement or unmanageable behavior
If any of these effects remind you of your child’s behavior, keep an eye out for sleep apnea symptoms such as:

  • Loud, persistent snoring (can occur in children as well as adults)
  • Tossing and turning in bed
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Night sweats
  • Frequent nighttime urination (for children, this could mean bedwetting)
  • Difficulty waking up and getting out of bed for school or other activities
  • Stunted growth compared to peers
To find out more about sleep apnea treatments for children and adults, please contact a sleep doctor in your area or call 1-866-727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today.

Friday, December 20, 2013

What Causes Snoring?

Most people think of snoring as an auditory nuisance, but it can pose a serious health risk to the sleeper if left untreated. If you snore, it’s important to talk to a physician specializing in sleep disorders who can examine your health and suggest snoring treatment options.

In terms of basic anatomy, snoring can occur when your airway becomes obstructed during sleep. The unpleasant sound that often accompanies snoring is actually an audible vibration emanating from the sleeper’s soft palate and uvula (respectively the soft tissue on the roof of the mouth and the punching bag-like structure at the back of the throat) as he/she struggles to inhale.

There are multiple reasons why your airway could be obstructed at night. Common causes of snoring include:

  • Consistently sleeping on your back
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Asthma, seasonal allergies and other disorders or conditions that inflame the bronchial tubes
  • Alcohol or tobacco use
  • Some prescription and over the counter medications, including sleep aids and cold or allergy drugs
  • Irregular structures in the airway, such as enlarged tonsils or a deviated septum
Heavy snoring can also be one of the early symptoms of sleep apnea, a dangerous disorder that interrupts breathing (and, consequently, decreases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream) during sleep. Much like snoring, sleep apnea can result from blockage impeding the movement of breath in the airway.

There are a number of risk factors for developing sleep apnea, so it’s important to consult a sleep physician in your area right away to find out what’s making you snore and discuss potential treatments.

If you’re seeking a snoring treatment to ensure you and your housemates can enjoy a quiet night’s sleep, please contact a local sleep doctor or call 1-866-727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today to schedule your initial evaluation.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, medically known as hypertension. If you’re seeking sleep apnea treatment and also suffer from high blood pressure, a sleep physician can help assess your condition and determine options for recovering your health and your rest.

Blood pressure measurements consist of two numbers: systolic and diastolic. The systolic level measures blood pressure within arteries when the heart beats, while diastolic measures artery pressure when the heart is at rest. Blood pressure is defined as follows:
  • Systolic below 120 and diastolic below 80 (measured in millimeters of mercury, or mm Hg) is normal
  • 140-159 systolic or 80-89 diastolic is a warning sign of high blood pressure, also called prehypertension
  • Systolic over 140 mm Hg or diastolic over 100 mm Hg is considered high blood pressure, with higher measurements representing increased risk to your health
By obstructing breathing, sleep apnea can drastically reduce oxygen levels within the blood during sleep. In addition to putting stress on the heart and the rest of the cardiovascular system, less oxygen in the blood also increases the risk of high blood pressure.

However, the fluctuation in oxygen levels caused by sleep apnea is just one element that can contribute to the risk of hypertension. Other risk factors include:
  • Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption or smoking
  • Stress
  • Genetic predisposition to high blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
Because of the potential complications, it’s important to seek treatment for high blood pressure as soon as possible. Your doctor might recommend sleep apnea treatment, lifestyle changes or other options customized to the unique circumstances concerning your health.

To learn more about sleep apnea treatment options, please contact a sleep doctor in your area or call 1-866-727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today to schedule an initial evaluation.

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. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why Deal with Sleep Apnea before the Holidays?

The holidays are nearly upon us and extended time with friends and family is just around the corner. This time of year allows us to maintain and build new traditions while enjoying the company of those we love, but if you suffer from sleep apnea, it may also bring increased anxiety.

Your sleep apnea symptoms may be something those you live with are used to, but if you are expecting visitors or visiting someone else this holiday season, loud snoring and other sleep disruptions may be an issue. This is why it is best to explore your treatment options now, allowing you to find one that is suitable before The Holidays.

To find a sleep apnea physician in your area, please visit our sleep physician locator or call 866.727.6275 today to find a sleep apnea dentist.

Treating Sleep Apnea

There are a number of noninvasive sleep apnea treatments that are both discrete and easy to travel with. Your sleep apnea physician or dentist may recommend thing such as a snore guard which can be worn at night to significantly reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. They may also recommend limiting alcohol intake and making sure to remain active through walks and other forms of exercise that can easily be enjoyed with family and friends.

If you are suffering from sleep apnea, please contact a sleep doctor in your area to schedule your pre-Holiday treatment evaluation.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New Law Focusing on Sleep Apnea and Truck Drivers

As if to underscore the serious health risks posed by sleep apnea, law makers sent a bill to the White House demanding that the Department of Transportation (DOT) pursue full rule-making regarding the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders among truck drivers, even in the midst of the government shutdown.

Until now, the DOT has simply issued guidance regarding sleep apnea and other disorders. This new bill would instead require the DOT to make rules regarding treatment, placing driving limitations on truckers until full sleep is restored.

If you are suffering from sleep apnea, please visit our sleep physician locator or call 866.727.6275 today to find a sleep apnea dentist in your area.

Why This Matters

Legislation acknowledging the dangers of sleep apnea brings needed awareness to this potentially deadly disorder. What’s more, truckers who suffer from sleep apnea are at an increased risk for causing serious accidents that often kill or permanently injure passengers and drivers of smaller vehicles.

Requiring the DOT to pursue regulations is the first step in ensuring truckers who suffer from sleep apnea get the treatment they need to not only protect their own health, but the safety of all those who share the road with them.

For more information about sleep apnea treatment, please contact an experienced sleep apnea doctor in your area today.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Creating a Sleep Diary

A sleep diary is a wonderful tool that your physician can use to diagnose sleep apnea. While sleep diaries are helpful for anyone who may be suffering from sleep apnea, logging information about sleep can be of particular benefit for those who live alone or do not have a partner telling them about sleep irregularities. In any event, your sleep diary can help you determine if you should discuss your sleeping disorder with a medical professional.

If you believe you are suffering from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, please visit our sleep physician locator or call 866.727.6275 today to find a sleep apnea dentist in your area.

What to Include in Your Sleep Diary

Your sleep diary should be placed next to your bed for easy access. It is best to fill it out each time you wake for absolute accuracy, even if you simply use codes or shorthand, filling in details in the morning.

Include in your sleep diary things such as the number of times you wake up, any breathing irregularities, increased heart rate or anxiety, and daytime symptoms such as dry mouth and sore throat upon waking. It is good to be familiar with the symptoms of sleep apnea, which will allow you to check your observations against common problems caused by this disorder, better enabling you to determine if a sleep professional is necessary.

For more information about sleep apnea symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, please contact a sleep physician in your area today.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What Does Untreated Sleep Apnea Cost You?

If you suffer from sleep apnea, it is important to be aware of the many tolls this disorder can take. From a physical standpoint, sleep apnea can have serious costs. People who suffer from sleep apnea are more likely to experience excessive daytime fatigue, have memory or concentration problems, undergo severe mood swings, and even be at a higher risk for heart attack, hypertension, and other deadly disorders.

If you are suffering from sleep apnea, please visit our sleep physician locator or call 866.727.6275 today to find a sleep apnea dentist in your area.

Long-Term Impacts

As if the physical costs of sleep apnea were not enough, this common disorder can have many economic impacts as well. The more fatigued and emotionally unstable you are, the less productive you will be at work. This can cost you promotions or even result in job loss.

Equally troubling, your sleep apnea may be causing strains in your relationships, allowing it to have personal costs as well. And all of this is entirely unnecessary when you consider how simple and effective most sleep apnea treatments can be.

To learn more about your sleep apnea treatment options, please contact a sleep apnea physician in your area and schedule a treatment consultation today.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Can Naps Interfere with a Good Night’s Sleep?

Napping is often necessitated by extreme fatigue during the day. But napping in exchange of sleeping at night is never a good idea.

Difficulties sleeping at night is one of the symptoms of sleep apnea. If you have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, visiting a sleep physician is the first step in determining if you are suffering from this common disorder.

Please find a sleep apnea dentist or call 866.727.6275 today to find a doctor in your area.

     In addition to daytime fatigue, symptoms of sleep apnea may include:         

  • Waking with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Frequent morning headaches
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Memory loss
  •  Inappropriate emotional reactions

Because these symptoms occur during the day, they are often more noticeable to those who suffer from sleep apnea. Symptoms such as snoring, choking or gasping for air while sleeping, and periods of breath cessation also indicate sleep apnea, but most people with the disorder have no memory of nighttime symptoms.

If you or a loved one is frequently napping or showing any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact an experienced sleep apnea physician in your area to schedule a sleep evaluation today.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Diet and Exercise can Greatly Reduce Sleep Apnea Risks

Two of the primary risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea are obesity and inactivity. When you have these risk factors and are diagnosed with sleep apnea, oral appliances and other common treatments may not be sufficient to alone treat the problem. Fortunately, combining sleep apnea treatment with lifestyle changes can greatly reduce your risks for future sleep disturbances.

To learn more about sleep apnea treatments, please find a sleep apnea dentist or call 866.727.6275 today to find a doctor in your area.

Lifestyle changes often seem daunting when initially placed under consideration. However, you needn’t become a marathon runner or Iron Man to reduce your risks for sleep apnea. Making healthy choices is actually quite easy and, because these choices can reduce sleep apnea complications, motivation may be easier to find.

To reduce sleep apnea risks, try incorporating at least two hours of moderate exercise into your week. Daily is best, but even walking after dinner a few nights a week is a start. Cut down on simple carbohydrates and eliminate processed sugar from your diet. Opt instead for fresh fruits and vegetables, complex gains, and lean meats. Not only will this help you feel better and reduce sleep apnea risks, it will open you up to an entirely new world of exciting and exotic flavors.

During you sleep apnea treatment consultation, your physician will be able to give you specific suggestions to help treat your condition from multiple angles.

If you are at risk for sleep apnea, please contact an experienced sleep apnea doctor in your area for a treatment consultation today.