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.