Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Awake while sleeping? Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Having obstructive sleep apnea can be very scary. It can be very scary because experts estimate that there are 12 million undiagnosed cases of sleep apnea in the United States every year.Apparently we choose to ignore the symptoms of sleep apnea, instead of educating ourselves.

So what are the symptoms of sleep apnea? Pretty simple. There are ten major symptoms

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud or disruptive snoring
  • Gasping/choking during sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Dry or sore throat
  • Irritability
  • Loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure

In addition, studies have shown that men suffer from sleep apnea about two to one over women. Also, folks who have high blood pressure, are overweight and have a narrower than normal airway tend to experience sleep apnea symptoms more than others.

So, if you suffer from these symptoms, don’t be an ostrich! Get your head out of the sand and get checked out! Take our sleep apnea risk survey and get started NOW!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Driving With OSA: The New DWI?

The National Transportation Safety Board is shining a spotlight on sleep apnea. On Tuesday, the Board sent letters to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (the organization that regulates bus and truck safety) and the U.S. Coast Guard recommending that all ship pilots, truck drivers, and bus drivers undergo mandatory testing for sleep apnea. The letters mentioned accidents that were influenced by sleep apnea:

• May 2008: A trolley operator believed to have suffered from OSA collided with another train in Newton, MA.
• January 2008: A bus driver with sleep apnea crashed on a mountain in Utah, killing 9 people and injuring 43 others.
• July 2000: A tractor-trailer driver with sleep apnea crashed into a Tennessee Highway Patrol vehicle on Interstate 40. The state trooper driving the vehicle was killed and another driver was seriously injured.
• June 1995: A cruise ship pilot grounded his ship in Alaska’s Inside Passage. The ship was carrying 2,200 people at the time.

This past summer, the NTSB sent a similar letter to the FAA. In fact, in a recent situation that supports the NTSB’s case, pilot fatigue is believed to have caused an Oct. 21 incident in which a Northwest pilot overshot his final destination of Minneapolis by 150 miles before responding to air traffic controllers.

By drawing attention to the danger of untreated OSA, the NTSB is helping us all lead safer lives. Whenever a driver, pilot, or ship captain with undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea takes to the road, sky, or sea, we are all at risk. But the dangers of OSA extend to the entire population, not just transportation workers. Take this Sleep Apnea Risk Survey to determine whether you may be at risk for sleep apnea. It might save your life- or someone else’s!

Source: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NTSB_SLEEP_APNEA?SITE=WABEL&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sleep Apnea, Diabetes, and Obesity: The Sleep AHEAD Study

Archives of Internal Medicine recently published the results of a study investigating the effects of weight loss on OSA in obese patients who also have type 2 diabetes. While the combination of those three health complications might seem daunting, the study’s results are encouraging. Researchers report that weight loss can dramatically improve OSA symptoms. In fact, results generally show that weight loss is directly correlated to OSA improvement: more weight loss = more OSA improvement.

Diabetes and Sleep Apnea

People with diabetes have three times the risk of the general population for developing OSA, and obesity simply increases that risk. If you have type 2 diabetes and/or suffer from obesity, take this Sleep Apnea Risk Survey to determine whether you may have OSA. The earlier your sleep apnea is detected, the sooner you can start treatment.

Treating Sleep Apnea

As The Sleep AHEAD Study shows, lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, are one way to treat sleep apnea. Other forms of treatment include sleeping with a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) device, wearing an oral appliance, and corrective surgery. Your physician can help you select the best treatment options for your individual situation. Regardless of which treatment path you take, your quality of life should improve dramatically. Who wouldn’t want to live a better life?


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Extraordinary Snoring

Be sure to read the September Mayo Clinic Health Letter, which offers several ways to treat ordinary snoring. Suggested treatments include:

  • losing weight

  • avoiding alcohol

  • relieving nasal obstruction

  • changing sleep positions

  • stopping smoking

  • trying assistive devices

  • considering surgery
These suggestions are fine ways to help ordinary snorers, but, as Mayo Clinic suggests, snoring can be symptomatic of serious health issues.

Do you have apnea?

If you suspect that your snoring might be out of the ordinary, consider taking a sleep quiz or survey to determine whether you may have a serious disorder such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

OSA can only be diagnosed with sleep testing

You've probably heard about sleep testing in an overnight sleep center, but did you know that you can test at home instead? One nationally recognized, FDA-approved home sleep test to consider is NovaSom, a diagnostic tool that allows you to easily apply unobtrusive sensors before going to sleep. NovaSom is available by prescription only, so consult your physician to determine whether it meets your needs.

For more information on sleep apnea, visit http://www.apnea.com/.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Ways to Quiet Ordinary Snoring"