Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sleep apnea can be a problem for children

In my own sleep apnea story I really didn’t develop the sleep disorder till I was in my thirties.  I’m not quite sure why but I assume it had to do with the fact that I gained a lot of weight and due to a back problem I had to sleep on back instead of my stomach or side. Did I have sleep apnea before that? I might have but no one ever talk about it when I was younger.  In today’s world sleep apnea is well known to be found in folks of all ages, from babies to kids to adults. It seems that sleep apnea can be more of a problem then you think for children.
What are the causes of sleep apnea in children?
Like adults obesity is a leading cause of sleep apnea. The more weight that you carry around especially around your neck causes blockage in the airway of your throat. Since childhood obesity is such a major problem today this also leads to an increase in diabetes for children.  Other causes of sleep apnea for children are an enlarged tongue and tonsils.
It is also found that kids who have sleep apnea are also more likely to have other sleep disorders such as bedwetting, night terrors and snoring.  This may also contribute to learning problems and behavioral issues.
Surprisingly enough infants can also have sleep apnea as well, with the blockage of the airway as a cause.
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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hearing loss and sleep apnea

It seems at times that sleep apnea can be connected to just about any kind of health problem that you can imagine and that is certainly understandable considering how it affects the body.  Not getting enough or any rest makes you susceptible to injuries because of your lack of concentration. It is well known about all the things that can happen to your body when you don’t get enough oxygen (caused by obstruction in the back of the throat) such as heart disease, diabetes and blood pressure problems.  What I just found out that there might be a connection between hearing loss and sleep apnea.
There was a study done in Taiwan that suggests that there could be a link between OSA and hearing loss according to  Sudden hearing loss was found in people who had sleep apnea as well, although the percentage wasn’t that high.  A Doctor is quoted in the article that the problem of sudden hearing loss may be due to plaque in the blood vessels which can occur with sleep apnea. The vessels of the brain that control hearing may also be affected by plaque as well causing hearing loss. While nothing can be substantiated or definitely proven it opens up another area to study with regards to sleep apnea.
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sleep apnea, strokes and small lesions

I have read in the past about the connection between strokes and sleep apnea.  Unlike a heart attack a stroke has to do with the blood supply being cut off from the brain which in turn stops certain functions within the brain. Stroke victims often suffer from paralysis and diminished body control due to brain damage.  Similar to sleep apnea, diabetes and high blood pressure can also be a factor with regards to having a stroke. 
An article from Occupational Health Safety states that small lesions in addition to strokes can come about because of sleep apnea.  The article refers to a study that shows 91 percent of the stroke victims (in the study) also had sleep apnea.  To me that is a really frightening number to think that large of percentage of stroke victims had sleep apnea beforehand. The type of stroke that they refer to is called silent strokes where there are none of the usual effects of strokes but it can be just as dangerous.  And the article goes on to say that one third of the study participants had white matter lesions which are attributed to the strokes.    
For more information on strokes go to the Stroke Organization website
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hag phenomena and sleep apnea

There are many sleep disorders besides sleep apnea with one of the most frightening called hag phenomena or sleep paralysis. As I described in a post a few years ago sleep paralysis is what happens when you wake up and can’t move, which can be terribly frightening. The reason it is called hag phenomena that the feeling of not being able to move when you wake was compared to having a witch sitting on you in bed.
I received a comment recently regarding the sleep paralysis post
Here is part of the post from Reesy…
I have had the experience about three or four times. I consider myself to have quite a strong resolve but to wake up unable to move or breathe is horrendous. I focus so hard on trying to move and snap myself out of it but it is almost impossible - I have been researching online and most conclusions are that the body will eventually kick in and it is just connected with REM.
In fact states that a possible reason for sleep paralysis “Sleep researchers conclude that, in most cases, sleep paralysis is simply a sign that your body is not moving smoothly through the stages of sleep” and it isn’t connected to any psychiatric problems. However a study by states that 16 percent of those who have experienced sleep paralysis met the criteria for panic disorders.
 For more stories on sleep paralyses check out this site.
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