Monday, December 22, 2014

Does Sleep Apnea Elevate Dementia Risk?

A study published in the journal Neurology indicates that poor quality rest and low blood oxygen level during sleep could increase the likelihood of diminished mental faculties in older men. Though this research doesn’t establish a causal relationship between sleep apnea and dementia, patients with sleep and breathing disorders could be more at risk of experiencing negative effects on the brain.

Researchers found that the brains of subjects who had sleep apnea showed evidence of atrophied tissue and abnormalities called microinfarcts. These irregularities in the brain are more common in people who develop dementia than those who don’t have the condition.

Dementia is a series of symptoms most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Patients with dementia suffer a severe deterioration of mental capabilities including: 

·         Memory
·         Motor skills
·         Organizational abilities
·         Clear and accurate speech
·         Reasoning and problem solving
·         Navigation – dementia patients can get lost even in very familiar places

Patients who suffer dementia also experience behavioral changes. The decline in mental clarity can lead to emotional outbursts, sudden mood swings, and irritability.

Obviously, dementia is a sign of a major health issue. Sleep apnea is also a dangerous condition because of the impact gaps in breathing can have on multiple systems in the body, including the brain.

If you suspect you or a family member is suffering from sleep apnea, please contact a local specialist or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Snoring Treatment With the ‘Tongue Pacemaker’

An estimated 60% of men and 40% of women will be habitual snorers by the time they are 60 years old. For patients in need of snoring treatment, an innovative solution could keep the tongue from blocking the airway, resulting in a healthier night’s sleep for the patient and peaceful rest for those nearby.

Nicknamed the “pacemaker for the tongue,” the hypoglossal nerve stimulator was recently approved by the FDA. Once implanted inside of the chest, the device monitors the patient’s breathing during sleep. If the tongue begins to interfere with breathing, a gentle electric pulse stimulates the tongue to move it out of the airway.

Doctors have praised the “pacemaker” as an improvement on other surgical solutions for snoring and sleep apnea, which permanently make the airways wider but also tend to have a long, often painful recovery. However, surgery might be unnecessary for snoring treatment.

Nonsurgical snoring treatment options include: 

  • Oral appliances that keep the airway open at night
  • Lifestyle changes, including a firmer mattress, altering your position while sleeping, and reducing or avoiding alcohol
  • Modifying your sleep habits by tying a tennis ball to your back – this will keep you from lying on your back, which reduces the intensity of snoring
  • Losing excess weight and keeping it off
Doctors are also enthusiastic about the hypoglossal nerve stimulator because it could be an effective alternative to the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. Though CPAP is the most common treatment for sleep apnea and snoring, many patients find wearing a cumbersome mask too uncomfortable to do overnight every night.

For more information on non-invasive snoring treatment, please contact a local sleep specialist or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today for a consultation.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Which Gender Is at Greater Risk for Sleep Apnea?

CBS News reports that roughly one-third of all Americans don’t sleep for the recommended seven hours each night. But the data suggest that the reason a man might toss and turn is likely different than a woman’s, and the predisposition to obstructive sleep apnea is a factor.

Men are more likely than women to suffer from sleep apnea. The CBS story attributes the higher risk factor to “anatomical differences,” specifically more neck fat. However, the neck isn’t the only part of the body that could create an obstruction in the airway.

If these structures have higher fat deposits or are consistently enlarged, the likelihood of apnea episodes could be higher:

  • Tongue
  • Tonsils
  • Adenoids
  • Uvula
  • Soft palate
Women can also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. However, this isn’t the leading sleep issue women experience.

Instead, according to the CBS report, women are more likely to experience shorter periods of sleep, as well as higher instances of nighttime insomnia and fatigue the following day. Much of this is attributable to hormone changes.

If you believe you’re at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, or poor quality sleep is affecting your health, please contact an experienced sleep doctor in your community or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today for a one-on-one evaluation.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sleep Apnea a Major Hazard to Firefighters

Rescue personnel dedicate their lives to saving people who are in danger. But who protects these heroes from the toll the job takes on their physical and mental health? Recent research reveals that nearly 40% of firefighters suffer from sleep apnea or another type of sleep disorder.

These conditions are serious, but that’s not even the worst news. TIME reports that the prevalence of sleep apnea could be linked to the high incidence among firefighters of heart attacks and car accidents, which together represent the majority causes of death within the profession.

An increased risk of heart attack is one of the most serious complications of sleep apnea. The condition also causes extreme fatigue and poor focus, which could account for the high risk of auto collisions.

The TIME article identified other complications firefighters with one or more sleep disorders are at risk for – all of which have been linked to sleep apnea. These include: 

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Mental and emotional health disruptions, including depression and anxiety
Perhaps most alarming of all, 80% of the firefighters who exhibited signs of apnea or other conditions had not been diagnosed or treated for the problem. No matter your age or occupation, sleep apnea needs to be caught and treated early to diminish the impact on your health.

To learn more about sleep apnea, please contact an experienced doctor in your area or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Amy Poehler Talks Snoring, Sleep Troubles in Memoir

In addition to an inside look at her work on TV projects like “Saturday Night Live” and “Parks and Recreation,” funnywoman Amy Poehler also discusses her lifelong struggle to get a good night’s rest in her new book “Yes Please.” Poehler has suffered intense snoring for years, at one point writing that she is “convinced my body is trying to gently strangle me to death.”

After undergoing a sleep study, Poehler was diagnosed with sleep apnea when she was 40. Though she was prescribed a CPAP machine to restore proper breathing during sleep, the comedienne – like many patients – has admitted to lapsing in her use of the device.

Poehler writes that she comes “from a family of snorers” who made a habit of recording audio of each other snoring as a way to prove how loud and intense the noise was at night. Oftentimes family members are the ones who have to break the news about snoring to the sufferer.

Snoring is often fodder for comedy, but it’s no laughing matter when it keeps people awake at night or causes the sleeper to experience symptoms like: 

  • Restlessness
  • Waking up multiple times a night
  • Poor quality sleep
  • Drowsiness during the day
  • Choking, gasping, and other interruptions to breathing
If you have family members who snore loudly or the people you care about worry about your snoring, be mindful about the effect insufficient sleep can have on your health. Snoring is also a potential indicator of sleep apnea, which should always be treated as a serious medical condition.

Please contact a local sleep doctor or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) if you and your family are concerned about your nightly snoring.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

TENSION HEADACHE AND TMJ Disorders: The Sleep Connection Identified

Tension Headaches are a type of Trigmeminal Nerve innervated muscle contraction headache. They are closely related to TMJ Disorders (TMD) and postural distortions like a forward head position. Tension Headaches and Chronic Daily Headaches are essentially variations of Muscle Contaction Headaches. Frequently severe muscle pain headaches are called Migraines or Atypical Migraines but are in reality primarily caused by muscle trigger points.
It is important to remember that all muscle contraction headaches are a form of repetitive strain injuries. When there is a postural distortion or bite problem the muscles adapt to protect the whole If there is an acute injury Muscle Splinting will occur. This is where the muscle tighten to protect an injured site.
Sleep disordered breathing greatly contributes to these problems. Patients may snore loudly or have sleep apnea where they periodically quit breathing however the female patients and younger, thinner heathier males and females often have UARS or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome that leaves them tired and sore and ruins their sleep but without the classic symptoms. Learn more about Sleep Apnea and UARS at that discusses sleep disordered breathing and comfortable alternatives to CPAP for treating these airway issues.  
The good news is that Neuromuscular Dentistry can usually quickly and effectively correct these problems. There is a new office dedicated to treating TMJ disorders, Headaches, Migraines and Sleep Disordered Breathing for more information on TMJ Disorders and Neuromuscular Dentistry. is another excellent site concerning chronic headaches and correction with Neuromuscular Dentistry.
Muscle Splinting is normal, in fact it is ideal on a short term basis to protect an injured joint, muscle or tendon. Problems arise when Muscle Splinting is no longer needed but Chronic Muscle Contracture occurs. This will often result in Tight Bands in the Muscle and Trigger Points in the tight bands.
Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction is when there is chronic muscle shortening with associated trigger points. It is similar, in many ways to Fibromyalgia but is more regional in nature. TMJ Dysfunction Patients (TMD) frequently have widespread myofascial Pain and Dysfunction throughout the Head, Neck, Shoulders and Upper Back.
Trigger points and muscle problems tend to spread from one area of the body to another as the muscles continually try to adapt to protect the whole. Unfortunately the muscles work past their Adaptive Capacity. When there is widespread muscle pain, taut bands and pain the condition is called Fibromyalgia and it is often treated as a Rheumatic Systemic Disease but frequently it is best addressed one area at a time, correcting function and eventually having the entire system working again as a single unit.
Patients with chronic pain often develop Alpha Intrusion into Delta Sleep which is the marker for Fibromyalgia. The deep sleep is disturbed resulting in increased pain and sympathetic nervous system activity.
Sleep disordered breathing greatly contributes to these problems. Patients may snore loudly or have sleep apnea where they periodically quit breathing but the female patients and younger, thinner heather males and females often have UARS or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome that leaves them tired and sore and ruins their sleep but without the classic symptoms. Learn more about Sleep Apnea and UARS at that discusses sleep disordered breathing and comfortable alternatives to CPAP for treating these airway issues.
Sleep Well Illinois is a new company working to do universal sleep screening in Physicians offices to help identify these patients.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sleep Apnea Symptoms and Aging: A Dangerous Mix

HealthDay recently reported that as many as one in four men who have reached middle age suffer from sleep apnea. The risk of this serious sleep disorder tends to increase with age alongside other major health issues. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea symptoms, speak to a qualified doctor immediately before your health begins to decline.

Sleep apnea can occur at any age, with even children capable of exhibiting symptoms. However, older adults tend to be at a greater risk, and men are twice as likely as women to develop sleep apnea.

Although lifestyle, genetics, and other factors can play a part, sleep apnea has also been identified as a risk factor for other age-related health disorders and issues, including: 

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Some eye diseases
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
This isn’t an inclusive list of sleep apnea symptoms. Poor quality sleep is a danger to multiple systems in the body, and the risk of serious complications only increases as the patient gets older.

An estimated 4% of Americans experience sleep apnea symptoms. If you believe your health is at risk, please contact a doctor in your community or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) to find a medical professional with knowledge of diagnosis and treatment for sleep disorders.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sleep Apnea Linked to Memory Loss

If you’re frequently tired and you frequently forget things, it might not just be lack of sleep catching up to you. HealthDay recently reported that patients with advanced sleep apnea demonstrate difficulties with spatial memory skills.

Spatial memory refers to the ability to recall the layout of an environment and the orientation of objects therein. This type of memory makes it possible to remember everything from where you left your wallet in the house to the route you take to drive across town.

Researchers at NYU recently discovered that sleep apnea patients who stop breathing during the deep stage of sleep called the REM cycle tend to suffer disruption to spatial memory, making it more difficult to remember things like the location of a parking space. Given their findings, the authors of the study encouraged doctors to check for signs of memory loss in patients who have sleep apnea.

If you find yourself forgetting things more and more, speak to a doctor as soon as possible. A memory loss screening could involve several different tests, including: 

  • An assessment of the patient’s medical history
  • A physical exam
  • Tests of neurological abilities
  • Questionnaires to gauge memory and other mental faculties
A sleep study is necessary to determine whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea. Apnea can compromise the health and function of many parts of the body, so diagnosis followed by treatment could restore many aspects of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Please contact a sleep apnea physician in your area or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today for more information.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Obstructive Sleep Apnea a Liability Behind the Wheel

If you have sleep apnea, you’re seven times more likely to be in a car accident where fatigue is a factor. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people with obstructive sleep apnea are at a high risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week falls on November 2 through November 9 this year. The campaign is a time to raise awareness about the dangerous effect obstructive sleep apnea can have on driving ability, not to mention the condition’s serious impact on overall health.

Patients with obstructive sleep apnea suffer poor quality sleep due to interrupted oxygen flow. Sleep deprivation limits the focus and good judgment skills that are essential to safe driving.

If you’re chronically tired, the safest decision is to pull over should you find yourself doing the following behind the wheel: 

·         Yawning
·         Daydreaming
·         Nodding your head and frequently closing your eyes
·         Missing turns and exits
·         Following cars in front of you too closely

Sleep apnea can take a terrible toll over time, but a car accident can lead to a host of serious injuries in a moment. If daytime fatigue is endangering your ability to drive safely, it’s time to seek professional help.

For more information on obstructive sleep apnea, please contact a qualified doctor in your area or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sleep Apnea Is Scary

Halloween night will see a gaggle of spooky ghosts, goblins, and a variety of other monsters invading neighborhoods across the country. As the night wears on, though, more than 18 million Americans will be facing an even more frightening experience: Sleep apnea is not only dangerous to your health but the symptoms can be scary for both sufferers and other people in the household.

Many patients with sleep apnea snore loudly all night long. They might wake up with a sore throat and feel tired, and also find roommates and family members who couldn’t sleep because of the noise.

However, snoring is only one symptom sleep apnea patients suffer at night. Others include:

  • Not breathing for 10-30 seconds during sleep – these episodes can happen hundreds of times a night
  • Starting awake to choke or gasp for air
  • Insomnia
The symptoms of sleep apnea can linger into the next morning, too. Many patients report daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and chronic headaches, to name a few common issues.

Over time, sleep apnea can lead to serious complications affecting the heart and other parts of the body. Adverse mental and emotional effects are also common.

If you’re suffering from snoring or other symptoms, seek treatment for sleep apnea immediately. Please contact a qualified sleep physician in your community or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Red Sox Player Set for Sleep Apnea Surgery

First baseman Mike Napoli, who helped the Boston Red Sox to a World Series win last year despite setting a franchise record for most strikeouts in a single season, has struggled with sleep apnea for his whole MLB career. Having tried multiple conservative treatments, Napoli will now have sleep apnea surgery during the offseason to reposition his jaw.

Napoli told a Boston radio station that he will undergo bimaxillary advancement (also known as maxillomandibular advancement) surgery next month. This procedure widens the airway by separating and repositioning bones in the upper and lower jaws to facilitate unobstructed breathing.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked. Moving the jaws forward reduces the risk of airway obstruction due to collapse of structures in the mouth like the tongue or palate.

Bimaxillary advancement has a number of benefits over other sleep apnea surgeries, including: 

  • Extremely effective relief for sleep apnea symptoms
  • Long-term success rate is higher than 90%
  • Minimal need for revision or additional surgeries to enhance results
  • Some patients look younger due to elongation of facial features
Recovery from maxillomandibular advancement does tend to take longer than other types of sleep apnea surgery. A surgeon with experience in sleep disorders can discuss your concerns and determine whether or not surgical intervention is the best treatment option.

To learn more about sleep apnea surgery and other treatment options in your area, please contact a professional online or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Is Child Snoring Hereditary?

If your child snores, you and your partner might want to take a hard look at your health. A new study suggests that child snoring and other sleep symptoms could be indicative of problematic physical features that can be passed from one generation to the next. 

Scientists in New Zealand conducted a survey of kids whose parents suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a serious condition often accompanied by loud snoring. Children with parents who were at low risk of sleep apnea were also polled. The study revealed that kids who reported sleep apnea symptoms in their parents tended to exhibit many of the same symptoms themselves, including snoring. 

The researchers identified several potential sleep apnea risk factors that could be influenced by genetics and thus make child snoring more likely: 

  • Obesity
  • Bone structure in the face creating narrow airways
  • Large tongue size
  • A thicker neck
Snoring isn’t always tied to sleep apnea, and parents with one or more of these risk factors won’t necessarily pass the traits along to their children. However, evidence does suggest that a family history of sleep apnea could increase the likelihood of developing the disorder.

If your child is snoring or exhibiting other symptoms that could be indicative of sleep apnea, early treatment is critical to his/her healthy development. Contact an experienced local sleep physician or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today for more information.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Is Tongue Fat Foiling Your Good Night’s Sleep?

Multiple studies have linked obesity to an increased risk of sleep apnea. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found that increased deposits of fat in one part of the body might contribute to sleep apnea symptoms: the tongue.

The results of the Penn study found that obese subjects who presented with sleep apnea symptoms tended to have larger tongues and more tongue fat than obese patients who didn’t have the sleep disorder. The fat was concentrated at the base of the tongue, which is situated at the opening of the throat.

Results from the study didn't establish a causal relationship between tongue fat and sleep apnea. However, researchers did note that extra fat could make the tongue lose muscle tone and collapse into the airway during sleep, obstructing proper breathing.

Though an absolute relationship between “fat tongue” and sleep apnea hasn’t been established, there are steps you can take to maintain the tone of your tongue while you rest, including:

  • Build up muscles in the tongue with simple at-home exercises
  • Don’t overindulge in alcohol or sleeping aids
  • Lose weight through healthy diet and a fitness regimen
Obesity has many adverse health effects, so talking to your doctor about lifestyle modifications sooner than later could be a major benefit for your overall health.

If you believe you’re suffering sleep apnea symptoms due to excess fat or other causes, please contact a local sleep doctor or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today for more information.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Is Sleep Apnea Different for Women?

Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. However, more and more research indicates that there are significant differences in the presentation and diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) for women than there are for men.

Writing for The Huffington Post, the Society for Women’s Health Research Network on Sleep recently discussed several key ways in which women with obstructive sleep apnea diverge from men with the same condition. These differences include: 

  • Women report higher instances of depression and insomnia connected to OSA
  • The risk of sleep apnea rises sharply with the onset of menopause – men see no such dramatic increase in risk with age
  • Women tend to have fewer instances of observable snoring
  • Many women don’t bring a spouse or roommate to their sleep appointment, making it more difficult for the physician to learn about snoring or lapses in breath at night
Most sleep medicine practitioners agree that obstructive sleep apnea is under-diagnosed among women. However, one aspect of OSA that doesn’t change with gender or age is the potential impact of the condition: Women and men with sleep apnea are both in danger of stroke, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and other major health problems.

Early detection and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is crucial to your overall health. Contact a local sleep doctor or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today to start exploring diagnosis options.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Snoring Treatments to Save Your Relationship

Studies indicate that approximately 25% of married couples sleep in separate bedrooms because of one spouse’s snoring. If sawing logs is putting a strain on your marriage, snoring treatments might be the best way to restore your sleep and keep your relationship harmonious.

Allergies, excess weight, and other factors can cause snoring. However, loud snoring every night could be a symptom of sleep apnea, a very serious health condition where breathing is interrupted and blood flow to the brain and heart diminish.

Some cases of snoring can be treated with simple home remedies, such as: 

  • Modifying your sleep habits to avoid resting on your back
  • Healthy diet and exercise to lose weight
  • Quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills
  • Wearing a simple breathing strip or using a nasal spray at night to open your airway
If sleep apnea is causing your snoring, treatment options could still be manageable and comfortably fit your lifestyle. A custom-made oral appliance or orthotic is often an ideal solution. Worn like a mouth guard at night, orthotics open the airway by repositioning oral soft tissue and sometimes the jaw to let air enter the mouth without obstruction.

Severe sleep apnea might require treatment with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device or even surgery. However, most patients get the snoring treatment, quality sleep, and relationship relief they need with lifestyle modifications and sometimes an oral appliance.

To learn more about snoring treatment, please contact a sleep doctor in your area or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today.

Friday, September 12, 2014

UCLA Uncovers Brain Damage Caused by Sleep Apnea

Researchers at the UCLA School of Nursing recently published a study demonstrating the toll sleep apnea can take on the brain. During this sleep apnea test, male and female participants were asked to perform three physical tasks, two of which involved responses in the limbs.

While performing the three activities, participants who suffered from sleep apnea had less blow flowing to the brain than subjects without the disorder. The study also found that female sufferers had worse brain blood flow during the tasks than their male counterparts.

Over time, sleep apnea can lead to fatigue and a host of other problems affecting mood and mental clarity, including: 

  • Insomnia
  • Severe headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble concentrating
Though not getting a good night’s sleep can make even simple tasks the next day harder, the consistent interruptions to blood oxygen caused by sleep apnea can damage brain cells. These findings could shine further light on the difficulties patients with sleep apnea experience in school and work situations: The disorder has been linked to everything from diminished ability to pay attention in the classroom to major car and public transit accidents.  

If you regularly feel fatigued and significantly less focused and alert, undergo a sleep apnea test today. Contact a qualified physician in your area or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) to learn more about the risks of apnea and your treatment options.

Friday, September 5, 2014

NFL Sophomore Diagnosed With Sleep Apnea

Ryan Jensen, a former offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens football team, announced this week that he was recently diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. According to CBS Sports, Jensen said that a sleep study revealed the severity of his sleep apnea symptoms, including being woken up nearly 30 times an hour and almost 100 “breathing episodes” each night.

Jensen noted that he sought treatment after experiencing fatigue and mood swings. If you suffer from sleep apnea, these are often early signs of the disorder.

Along with your body’s reaction to insufficient, poor-quality sleep, many patients seek help because they snore loudly enough at night to keep people in the same room and even adjoining bedrooms awake. Loud snoring could indicate obstruction of the airway, which makes disturbances to breathing more likely.

In his comments, Jensen expressed a great deal of relief at being diagnosed with sleep apnea before it began to take a “catastrophic” toll on his health. Whether you’re a star athlete or not, catching and treating sleep apnea early is critical to your well-being.

If any of the following events happen to you, talk to a sleep doctor immediately: 

  • You routinely wake up from a full night’s sleep feeling tired
  • You feel groggy and irritated throughout the day
  • People who know you express concern about your snoring, sluggishness, and change in emotional state
  • Your performance at work and in other activities suffers
If you believe you’re experiencing the symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact an experienced physician or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today to schedule an appointment.

Friday, August 22, 2014

6 Keys to Managing High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is a known symptom of sleep apnea. The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine this month published a study that discovered the risk to the heart could be even greater, with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) increasing the likelihood of resistant high blood pressure.

Resistant hypertension is elevated blood pressure that doesn’t respond to treatment with medication, sometimes multiple prescriptions simultaneously. In some cases blood pressure resists treatment due to an underlying condition, such as obstructive sleep apnea.

Seeking sleep apnea treatment could be a critical step for making your blood pressure more manageable. Some lifestyle changes are also an effective solution for both OSA and hypertension, including: 

  • Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products – ask your doctor about the DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
  • Reducing the amount of salt and saturated fats you consume
  • Exercising regularly
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Losing excess weight
Even minor weight loss has been linked to a drastic reduction in the severity of sleep apnea symptoms. By shedding extra pounds, you can limit the interference of oversized structures blocking the airway during sleep as well as improve your overall health, including lowering blood pressure.

To learn more about symptoms and treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea, please contact a local sleep doctor or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today.

Friday, August 15, 2014

What to Expect During a Sleep Study

With the recent release of new diagnostic criteria for sleep apnea, doctors at the American College of Physicians are reaffirming the importance of an overnight sleep study to find evidence of this potentially fatal condition. Though there is an abundance of information on sleep apnea on the Web and elsewhere, the best way to find out whether you suffer from the disorder is an overnight sleep study.

A sleep study measures your quality of sleep and how your body responds to changes while you rest. The study will take place overnight in a lab outfitted with equipment used to monitor sleep patterns in patients who might suffer from apnea or other sleep disorders.

Before you go to sleep, a technician will place special sensors on your head, face, chest, and arms. While you sleep, the sensors will measure bodily signs like:

  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Blood oxygen level
  • Activity in the brain, eyes, and muscles
Known medically as a polysomnogram, sleep studies are painless. The doctors and technicians at the lab will try to make you as comfortable as possible to get an accurate picture of symptoms you might be experiencing.

If you regularly experience episodes of daytime sleepiness or your spouse has complained about your chronic snoring, undergoing an overnight sleep study could be the first step toward better health. Please contact a local sleep doctor or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) for more information on sleep apnea.

Friday, August 8, 2014

What Causes Daytime Sleepiness?

Revised guidelines published recently in the “Annals of Internal Medicine” medical journal discuss new diagnostic criteria for determining whether or not a patient experiencing daytime fatigue is suffering from sleep apnea. If you often suffer from drowsiness or other sleep apnea symptoms, it’s crucial to seek treatment sooner than later.

You might experience insufficient or poor quality sleep from time to time due to any number of lifestyle factors. Stress, excessive caffeine, and certain medications can disturb your sleep cycle and make you feel tired all day even if you got eight hours of shuteye.

However, persistent daytime fatigue could signify a serious health issue. Sleep apnea is one potential cause of chronic sleepiness, but other possibilities include: 

  • Diabetes
  • Migraine headache
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Excess calcium in the bloodstream (hypercalcemia)
  • Low sodium levels (hyponatremia)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic pain
Some of these conditions will require medical intervention to help you recover your overall health and good night’s rest. A qualified physician can evaluate you for fatigue and other symptoms to determine whether or not you’re suffering from sleep apnea or another disorder.  

If you frequently suffer from tiredness during the day or you feel that the quality of your sleep has lapsed, please contact a local sleep doctor or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today to schedule an evaluation.

Friday, August 1, 2014

COPD and Sleep Apnea Pose Double Threat to the Heart

Though some of the most extreme complications of sleep apnea affect the heart, a disorder of the lungs can elevate the risk of cardiovascular problems even more. Studies show that roughly 10% to 20% of patients with sleep apnea also suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD is a chronic respiratory condition that causes breathing difficulties. In most cases the disorder is caused by inhaling harmful fumes or air particles, especially tobacco smoke. Symptoms of COPD include: 

  • Persistent cough, sometimes accompanied by mucus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tight feeling in the chest
  • Greater susceptibility to pneumonia, bronchitis, and other lung infections
Similar to sleep apnea, COPD interrupts breathing. This causes the heart and other parts of the body to be deprived of essential oxygen. Thus, the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and other serious health issues is compounded when a patient suffers from both COPD and sleep apnea.

COPD is irreversible but the symptoms are manageable. Likewise, sleep apnea treatments can offset the negative impact on the body. Restoring healthy breathing is critical, as better breathing means more oxygen reaches the heart.

To learn more about COPD, sleep apnea, and prospective treatment options, please contact an experienced physician or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Texas Child Thrives Only After Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment

A sleep apnea diagnosis and subsequent treatments came as a welcome relief to the parents of 6-year-old  Emma Weedon.
Since infancy, the girl suffered from night terrors and generalized anxiety, and was recently struggling to adjust to preschool, according to a July 2014 report on KETK-TV, an NBC affiliate in Tyler, Texas.
Emma's parents believed an ADHD diagnosis was hasty. They also felt hesitant to medicate their child unnecessarily. Finally, a visit with sleep doctors revealed that Emma suffered from such sleep apnea symptoms as irregular breathing and teeth grinding. She had been waking about every half-hour during the night since she was less than a year old.

With appropriate sleep apnea treatment, however, Emma's sleep improved along with her growth rate, concentration, and overall health.
While Emily found success with continuous positive airway pressure therapy, many other children find it difficult to sleep with a CPAP, making them candidates for other sleep apnea treatments like a custom oral appliance.

It is common for young children to struggle to regulate their sleep as they grow up. But particularly when kids are unusually or inexplicably challenged in other areas of their development, such as concentrating in school or maintaining an active lifestyle, a visit with a pediatric sleep specialist to talk about sleep apnea could prove illuminating.

Sleep doctors suspect that between 10 and 25 percent of kids age 2 to 8 suffer from children's sleep apnea. Its symptoms may include:

·         Snoring

·         Breathing difficulty during sleep

·         Chronically restless sleep

·         Night sweats

·         Nightmares, or "night terrors"

·         Bed wetting

·         Sleep walking

·         Slowed growth

·         Concentration problems

·         Hormonal and metabolic problems

·         Failure to thrive
If a child in your family is struggling with these or other symptoms and may benefit from a sleep apnea test and subsequent treatment, please contact a qualified sleep doctor today or call (866) 727-6275.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Am I a Good Sleep Apnea Appliance Candidate?

With dozens of different sleep apnea oral appliances now available, chances are great that this treatment is the right one for many mild to moderate sleep apnea sufferers -- particularly those patients who have found it difficult to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device.

A sleep apnea appliance looks like a mouth guard. When worn during sleep, these appliances work by pulling the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open while you sleep. Oral appliances, which can be used in concert with other sleep apnea treatments such as lifestyle changes or surgery, have the added benefit of being more comfortable to most sleep apnea patients than wearing a CPAP.

·         You may be an ideal candidate for a sleep apnea oral appliance if you comply with one of the following criteria:

·         Apnea persists despite weight loss and lifestyle changes.

·         Patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who find themselves unable to use a CPAP.
Patients who would like to avoid more drastic surgical steps to correct sleep apnea such as tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, or tracheotomy.
To find out more about how an oral appliance can address your sleep apnea, please contact one of our qualified sleep doctors today or call (866) 727-6275.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Romance Supports Sleep Apnea Diagnoses

Faster sleep apnea diagnosis may be among the marriage and long-term relationship benefits, which also include financial security, emotional maturity and better socialization.
"People who have no sleeping partner may go for years without recognizing their difficulty" with sleep apnea, Michigan surgeon John L. Pfenninger writes in a July 2014 Midland Daily News article about the challenges and dangers of living with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). " The classic hallmark of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring. Anyone with significant snoring problems should be evaluated."
Dr. Pfenninger also elaborates on the most common causes of sleep apnea, which is more dominant in men, particularly those with large necks. Among its causes:
·         Obesity
·         Drug, alcohol or sedative use or abuse
·         Aging
·         Decreased muscle tone
·         Naturally narrow airways
Sleeping alongside another person can help potential sleep apnea patients identify heavy snoring or interrupted night breathing. Since sleep apnea can exacerbate other health problems including cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, it may be especially prudent for a patient to take note of such sleep apnea symptoms as:
·         Daytime sleepiness
·         Morning headaches
·         Insomnia
·         Concentration problems
·         Unusual moodiness or irritability
·         Depression
·         Fatigue
·         Decreased sex drive
If you believe you might be suffering from sleep apnea, please contact a qualified sleep physician in your area or call (866) 727-6275.