Monday, March 18, 2013

Combination of Weight Loss, CPAP Helps Lower Blood Pressure in Sleep Apnea Patients

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and obesity often coexist, and both conditions are also risk factors for high blood pressure among other health problems.

While the effects of weight loss on both OSA and hypertension have been studied independently, recent research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine focused on the potential impacts of weight loss in conjunction with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. The findings indicate that a combination of weight loss and sleep apnea treatment can significantly lower blood pressure in patients with OSA.

Researchers found that complementing CPAP treatment with weight loss in patients with obstructive sleep apnea was more effective than either therapy individually. While this outcome may seem obvious, the study’s authors emphasized that their research indicates the importance of addressing both sleep apnea and obesity.

It is also important to note that while the study monitored patients who consistently used CPAP treatment for 24 weeks of therapy, many patients discontinue CPAP treatment before it has a chance to be effective. CPAP requires patients to wear a mask as they sleep; this mask is connected to a device that circulates oxygen and helps patients maintain an open airway.

But many patients find the mask uncomfortable and cumbersome, and stop treatment. Fortunately, CPAP is not the only treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea.

Many people with sleep apnea have restored healthy, restful sleep with the use of oral appliances. These comfortable devices are similar to sports mouthguards and are custom-made to fit your individual bite.

If you or a loved one suffers from loud, regular snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, a dentist with experience in the field of dental sleep medicine can help you determine whether you have obstructive sleep apnea and recommend a treatment option designed for your unique needs.

Please contact I Hate CPAP to locate a qualified dentist in your area.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sleep Apnea Treatment Equally Effective with Primary Care Providers and Sleep Centers, Study Says

Your dentist may not be the first person you consider turning to for help in diagnosing and treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). But the findings of a recent study indicate that an experienced primary care provider such as your dentist can treat sleep apnea just as effectively as a specialized sleep center.

It actually makes sense that a growing number of dentists are pursuing training in the field of dental sleep medicine in order to assess and treat OSA and other sleep disorders. Bite conditions and jaw alignment problems can contribute to the severity of sleep apnea, and many sleep apnea treatments utilize oral appliances similar to sports mouthguards to help patients maintain open airways as they sleep.

A recent Australian study, the findings of which were published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that sleep apnea treatment administered by properly trained primary care providers is as effective as treatment at specialist sleep disorder facilities. The study compared 81 patients treated at primary care practices with 74 patients treated at a sleep medicine center.

The study found similar and significant improvements in patients at both. However, treatment costs were about 40 percent less with primary care providers than at the sleep medicine center. Specialized sleep centers also often have long waiting lists, which can contribute to patients delaying or giving up on sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment.

If you or a loved one suffers from loud, nightly snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact I Hate CPAP to locate an experienced sleep dentist near you.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Seeking Help for Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

More than 20 million Americans are thought to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a dangerous sleep disorder in which your breathing stops periodically as you sleep.

While there is no shortage of studies linking sleep apnea to a heightened risk for potentially deadly health problems such as stroke, hypertension and heart attack, the condition is often dismissed by those who suffer from it as a mere nuisance. Perhaps this is because the most common symptom of OSA is loud, chronic snoring.

Snoring is sometimes no more than an annoyance to your sleep partner and family members. But regular, heavy snoring accompanied by other sleep apnea symptoms including waking up gasping for air, morning headaches and daytime fatigue can be both bothersome and a danger to your health.

If you or a loved one suffers from recurring snoring and other symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s important to seek diagnosis and treatment. Today, dentists qualified in the field of dental sleep medicine offer effective and comfortable sleep apnea treatments that may be used alone or in conjunction with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices.

If you would like to learn more about sleep apnea assessment and treatment, please contact I Hate CPAP to locate an experienced sleep dentist near you.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Regular Exercise May Help You Sleep Better, Reduce Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

It is well-documented that regular exercise can decrease your risk of cardiovascular problems and improve your general health. But a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation indicates that those who exercise also sleep better and experience fewer risk factors for sleep apnea.

The National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Sleep in America poll surveyed 1,000 adults between the ages of 23 and 60 who self-reported their levels of physical activity as vigorous, moderate, light or no activity. Vigorous included activities such as running, cycling and swimming; moderate included weight lifting, yoga and tai chi; and light was defined as regular walking.

The survey found that people who reported their physical activities as vigorous and moderate were twice as likely to report restful sleep on a regular basis. On the flip side, symptoms of insomnia were common among those who reported little to no exercise.

As a group, non-exercisers reported more symptoms of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common and potentially deadly sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing stops repeatedly during sleep; if not treated, sleep apnea can increase a person’s risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and other severe health complications.

According to the National Sleep Foundation survey, 44 percent of those who categorized their exercise routine as “no activity” exhibited at least a moderate risk for sleep apnea. Only 19 percent of those who listed their activity level as vigorous demonstrated risk factors for sleep apnea.

Although sleep apnea is dangerous, it is also treatable. In addition to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, there are a number of comfortable and effective sleep apnea treatments such as custom-made oral appliances similar to sports mouthguards.

If you or a loved one suffers from chronic snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact I Hate CPAP to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.