Sunday, January 29, 2012

Can losing a few pounds help with your sleep apnea?

If you have done any research on sleep apnea and what causes it then you know the connection between it and being overweight. In fact most folks realize that being overweight increases your chances of developing sleep apnea.  Excess fat around the neck and face area contribute to the blockage of your air way which in turn causes the apnea. While there are other reasons for sleep apnea such as an enlarged tongue and a round face, being overweight is one of the main reasons why folks have sleep apnea.
Will weight loss cure your sleep apnea?
Not all the time, but it will decrease the severity of it.  According to Webmd.comResearchers found that people with severe obstructive sleep apnea who lost the recommended amount of weight were three times more likely to experience a complete remission of sleep apnea symptoms compared with people who didn’t lose weight.”
That is certainly good news and a definite reason to try to lose some weight. Unfortunately as we all know losing weight and keeping it off can be quite an endeavor especially for those with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea zaps you of most of your energy (which isn’t much because of the lack of sleep you get!) making it very difficult to keep up an exercise program which is has to be a part of any weight loss program along with a proper diet.
There are things that you can do like joining a weight loss program where you will be losing weight slowly which is very important and also make sure the program has a detailed exercise plan as well.
The government also has a wonderful site about all things dealing with nutrition and eating right, definitely checks it out.
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oxygen therapy for sleep apnea

If you have been in the hospital or have visited someone there you probably have noticed that oxygen therapy is used a lot with patients. It can be administered by putting tubes in your nose to raise the amount of oxygen that you receive which is extremely important especially if your health isn’t 100 percent.  Sleep apnea also has to do with a lack of oxygen as well.  That lack of oxygen can result in serious health risks to the heart and the brain. So the question is can you use oxygen therapy for sleep apnea.
You would think that it would be reasonable to conclude that oxygen therapy would be beneficial to those with sleep apnea. Unfortunately that isn’t the case.
According to there are some drawbacks to using it to help with sleep apnea such as morning headaches along with confusion. And it doesn’t seem to help with the actual apnea episodes at all.  Although it doesn’t help with obstructive sleep apnea there is an indication that it can help with central sleep apnea (sleep apnea due to brain functions instead of the throat being obstructed.  The states that “Using supplemental oxygen while you sleep may help if you have central sleep apnea. Various forms of oxygen are available as well as different devices to deliver oxygen to your lungs.”
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Get checked for sleep apnea

In the past I have written about how difficult it is to have sleep apnea and work the late shift. Even for folks who don’t have sleep apnea changing your sleep pattern so dramatically can cause sleep problems. Years ago I had a job where I had to sleep during the day and it was very difficult to get used to it (at the time I didn’t know that I had sleep apnea either. Last week I work a post about the growing concern of police officers having sleep disorders particularly sleep apnea. I received a comment from someone who had police officers in her family. She also wrote about her own situation regarding being a nurse and working the night shift.
Here is part of the comment…
I am a Nurse and used to work nights. I had much difficulty with a sleep pattern that worked for me. I began to fall asleep at work, driving, at the dinner table etc...The dr. thought I had sleep apnea but it wasn't until I became non responsive at the dinner table with my family thinking it was a normal episode until I would not respond at all. I ended up in Critical Care Unit for 3 days and my husband insisted for them to check for apnea which he has asked for years. They finally listened I have severe apnea, obstructive, mixed, central w 42 apnea events at normal sleep and 72 at REM. I now have bi-pap. Sleep apnea is not an easy thing to live and do everyday activity.

Thank goodness she was able to get help before it was too late. I hope that the bi-pap works for her, although I didn’t have much luck with it.
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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sleep apnea in children may lead to diabetes

While you hear a lot about sleep apnea today most of it involves how adults are handling or not handling this sleep disorder. But children of all ages can also have sleep apnea and like adults they can suffer from the same problems that are brought about by this disorder. There are 2 very dangerous problems that can occur with sleep apnea, one is heart disease and the other is diabetes which can also affect children.
A study had taken place at the University of Arizona where 50 children between the ages of 10 and 16 all having diabetes but only one third having sleep apnea. Their health was monitored.
According to Medpagetoday.comDiabetic children with more nightly apnea events had significantly higher glucose levels and spent more time in hyperglycemia than young type 1 diabetics without sleep disturbances”
The study concludes that diabetic children with apnea not only have a worse condition of diabetes their day to day life including school is also made worse, even if they are following a strict lifestyle for diabetic patients.
Children have sleep apnea for much of the same reasons that adults do: being overweight, enlarged tongue and the shape of their faces.  And like adults their options for correcting sleep apnea are the CPAP mask and surgery, such are removing tonsils and adenoids.
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sleep apnea and the police

Due to their ever changing shift hours and overtime it isn’t any wonder that police officers have sleeping problems. Unfortunately not getting enough rest can lead to serious consequences when you are in an occupation where police chases and guns are involved. Of all the sleep disorders one of the most prevalent is sleep apnea, where sleeping is interrupted hundreds of times each night due to blockage of the air way in the back of your throat.
A study was done at Harvard where at least 40 percent of the officers had some sort of sleep disorder. And of that total number 33 percent had sleep apnea. Another result that isn’t surprising is that out of the group of officers who had sleep disorders had an increased chance of heart problems, diabetes or mental issues like depression.
How did it affect their work performance?
An astonishing 26 percent of those with sleep disorders said that they fell asleep at least once during the month while driving! That is pretty scary. Those with sleep problems also had administration errors as well as other work related problems.
This is just another example of how significant the effects of sleep disorders are today. I think that a lot of folks are just realizing the dangers of being tired and not rested. It causes a lapse of judgment, slower reflexes not to mention damage to your heart and your emotional state.
If you feel that you have a sleep disorders talk to your doctor about it.
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