Friday, June 27, 2014

A Musical Solution to Sleep Apnea?

A group of sleep apnea patients in Vermont have stumbled upon a novel treatment idea for taking back their health: sessions where they play the didgeridoo, a horn-like instrument native to Australia notable for producing long, sustained notes. For the less musically inclined, a variety of sleep apnea appliances can also clear the airway and help facilitate better breathing.

The basic premise of oral appliance therapy is to move the jaw slightly forward and make it easier for breath to enter the body. Patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea get less oxygen during sleep because structures in the airway collapse, blocking the flow of breath.

When the tongue, tonsils, and other muscles or soft tissue obstruct the airway, it can increase a patient's risk for a wide range of major health issues. Oral appliances that can keep the airway open and breathing steady during sleep include:

·         Mouth guards
·         Oral splints
·         Mandibular positioners
·         Oral ventilation devices

Oral appliances come in a variety of different designs. A sleep doctor can assess your condition and recommend treatment options that will allow you a good night's rest while keeping your airway open and combating the onset of snoring and sleep apnea symptoms.

Please contact a qualified sleep physician in your area or call 1-866-727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) to schedule a consultation to learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and whether oral appliance treatment is right for you.

Friday, June 20, 2014

New Study Links Sleep Apnea to Hearing Loss

Researchers who evaluated key characteristics of 14,000 subjects found that patients who suffer from sleep apnea are anywhere from 30% to 90% more likely to experience a loss in the ability to hear sounds on both the high and low ends of the audible sound spectrum. Snoring treatment could be a crucial step for patients suffering from sleep apnea who want to decrease their chances of hearing loss.

The scientists who conducted the study hypothesized that hearing loss could stem from intense vibrations in the inner ear due to the heavy snoring that often accompanies obstructive sleep apnea. Another theory: Blood flow to the ear is interrupted because of the inflammation symptomatic of sleep apnea.

Snoring and choking or gasping sounds during the night are both major signs that you might be suffering from sleep apnea. Typically other people, such as a spouse or roommate, would be the ones to tell you about these symptoms. You might also experience:

·         Dry mouth and sore throat
·         Fatigue upon waking up, as well as throughout the day
·         Headaches
·         Irritability
·         Problems staying focused

If any of these symptoms sound like you, seek treatment for snoring and sleep apnea immediately. A sleep physician can recommend minimally intrusive solutions such as a custom oral appliance and even home remedies to reposition the body to avoid snoring.

To find out more about snoring treatment, please contact a local sleep doctor or call 1-727-866-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today to schedule a consultation.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Drowsy Driving a Major Cause of Car Accidents

The most recent data collected by the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 5,000 to 6,000 fatal auto accidents are caused by driver fatigue each year. With daytime fatigue a major symptom of sleep apnea, it’s important for people at risk of falling asleep at the wheel to seek treatment for their own safety, not to mention the safety of other drivers and pedestrians.

Even after a full night’s rest, many sleep apnea patients complain of feeling tired throughout the day. While this can lead to sluggishness and difficulty focusing on routine tasks, exhaustion and operating a car are a dangerous mix.

Lack of sleep can affect driving in the following ways: 

  • Diminished attention to road conditions and traffic
  • Reaction times become longer
  • Sound judgment and decision making become more difficult
Studies have shown that being awake for 24 hours straight has the same impact on the body as a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .10. Every state in the country has implemented laws making it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08.

Though sleep apnea patients aren’t entirely deprived of sleep, the regular interruptions to breathing can cause a sufferer to wake up sometimes hundreds of times a night. Cumulatively, the loss of sleep can lead to a variety of health problems.

If you suffer from sleep apnea symptoms, you could be putting yourself and other people at risk when you’re on the road. Contact a qualified sleep physician in your area today, or call 1-866-727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) for more information.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Is Sleep Apnea Sabotaging Your Relationship?

An estimated 25% of U.S. couples don’t sleep in the same bed or even the same room. Though studies show a variety of different reasons for this trend, one of the most commonly cited is snoring. If one partner’s snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, both halves of the couple are likely to lose more than sleep.

Loud, persistent snoring throughout the night is often an early sign of apnea. It can also keep others in the immediate vicinity awake, aggravating all concerned.

However, the annoyance posed by snoring isn’t the only way sleep apnea can put strain on a relationship. Along with negative health effects, sleep apnea can also lead to a host of other issues that can impact social, romantic, and professional interactions, including: 

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Decrease in sex drive
  • Impotence
  • For women, irregularities in the menstrual cycle
Many sleep apnea patients suffer from periods of anxiety and depression. These emotional disturbances can only be exacerbated by tensions with friends, family members, and coworkers caused by lack of sleep.

A good night’s rest can help keep your mind, body, and relationships healthy. If you suffer from sleep apnea snoring and other symptoms, contact a qualified local physician in your area or call 1-866-727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today to begin exploring treatment options.