Sunday, September 25, 2011

Are you worried about dying from sleep apnea?

It seems like there are a million things to worry about in life from health to family to making a living all this stuff constantly gives you reasons for concern (and headaches!). Health matters whether they involve your family or you are right up there at the top of the list. One of my concerns is the amount of rest that I get or don’t get each night. As you probably already know sleep apnea has been a thorn in my side for many years. In fact I can’t remember when I wasn’t affected by it, maybe it wasn’t a problem when I was a kid or a teenager but I can’t say for sure. Sleep apnea can be a precursor of many ailments like diabetes, depression, gout and the biggest concern is what it does to your heart. As we all know heart problems can lead to the most unfortunate conclusion, which is unexpected death. Are you worried about dying from sleep apnea?
This question is relevant to me because my father who suffered from sleep apnea died of heart troubles at the age of 61 in 1977. Of course at that time little was said about sleep apnea and he certainly hadn’t heard about it. But I remember hearing his grunting snoring like he was gasping for air (it was very loud) and add the fact that he didn’t seem to have much energy during the day, I can only imagine that it was sleep apnea. He had at least 5 heart attacks with the last one being fatal. Whether it was all due to his sleep apnea I can’t say for sure. He was on a strict diet after the first heart attack and he didn’t drink or smoke so I think that the sleep apnea had something to do with it.
If you do a search on the web about sleep apnea and heart disease you will see that a lot of doctors believe that sleep apnea can definitely be a contributing factor in getting a heart attack. So you should be concerned about dying from heart disease especially if you have sleep apnea. But worrying really won’t help your condition, the best thing that you can do is see your doctor about what your options are for eliminating your sleep apnea or at least curtailing it. Heart disease is also caused by many other factors such as lack of exercise and eating the wrong foods. A healthy life style will help combat heart disease as well as sleep apnea.
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

The importance of controlling sleep apnea

Everyone knows how important sleep is to our daily lives, without the rest and rejuvenation that you receive from it our productivity lessens, and we open the door to various ailments that are connected with sleep disorders. Even with that said a lot of folks ignore sleeping problems and continue to exist without the proper rest. You can survive on less sleep and maybe even get used to it, but you are doing our mind and body a great disorder. One of the biggest and well known sleep disorder is sleep apnea, where the back of the throat is blocked which in turn stops your breathing and forces you to wake up several times each hour that you attempt to sleep.  The result of sleep apnea is more than just feeling tired in the morning.
  1. Sleep apnea leads to many health problems probably none greater than what it does to the heart.
  2. Obstructive sleep apnea also limits the amount of oxygen that flows through the body potentially causes such disorders as dementia.
  3. You wouldn’t think that sleep apnea would have any connection between low blood sugar and diabetes, but it does.
  4. Most folks feel grumpy when they don’t get enough sleep, imagine how you would feel if you didn’t ever get enough sleep, you would probably be depressed.
This is just a short list of the things that can happen when you let sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea, go unchecked. There are things that you can do to control sleep apnea such as using a CPAP machine, or a dental device and as a last resort possibly surgery.
If you feel that you may have sleep apnea talk to your doctor about setting up a sleep study.  The test will show whether you have sleep apnea or not.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Are pediatricians being trained to handle sleep apnea?

As many of you already know sleep apnea isn’t just for middle-aged people who are overweight.  Potential victims of sleep apnea cover a much wider range than that, young adults and children may also experience the dangerous effects of sleep apnea. We don’t hear much about children having sleep apnea; usually you read about how older folks try to cope with it by using the CPAP machine or a dental device or maybe even surgery.  But some children do suffer from it. What is really surprising is something that I read the other day that a lot of pediatricians aren’t being trained to handle sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea isn’t the only sleep disorder that children, including infants, can have. Bedwetting is something that a lot of parents have to deal with as well as night terrors where the child will wake up terrified.  Snoring can also be a problem.
According to an article in MedscapeThe vast majority of pediatricians believe it is their role to advise parents or guardians on sleep hygiene for their children, yet very few have ever received training do to so, according to new research published online August 28 and in the September print issue of Pediatrics.”  this seems rather troubling news considering how dangerous sleep apnea can be in children as well as adults. Hopefully this research will rectify this training issue.
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Post-traumatic stress disorder and sleep apnea

It is well known that sleep apnea isn’t good for your health. High blood pressure, heart problems, circulation problems, diabetes and the list goes on and on. If you have sleep apnea then you also know how it can affect you emotionally. Lack of sleep from any sleeping disorder brings on anxiety, stress and even depression. It also can bring on OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) as well as Post traumatic stress disorder.
What is post-traumatic stress disorder?
According to the National Institute of Health post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is” a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you've seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death.” This can be caused by being in a terribly stressful situation such as an accident, assault, rape and any other event that caused you great anguish. The main symptom of PTSD is the reliving of that particular event over and over again. Support groups have been found to be the best cure for PTSD along with certain medications.

Strangely enough one preexisting condition that might make you a candidate for PTSD is sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder. Sleep apnea is also connected to panic attacks and the before mentioned OCD.
If the obstructive sleep apnea is controlled this will also help with controlling the post-traumatic stress disorder.
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