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.