Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sleep apnea and high altitude

Although I have never experienced it myself it appears that folks with sleep apnea may have an even more difficult time sleeping at higher altitudes. There was a new study done by Swiss researchers who concluded that sleep apnea patients could find the combination of the CPAP machine and a drug called Diamox.

There were 51 patients (mostly obese men) in the study and they were tested at altitudes of 5300 and 8500 feet.  According to USNEWs.comThe combined treatment with acetazolamide and CPAP led to improved levels of oxygen in the blood when patients were awake and sleeping, and better control of sleep apnea; it also reduced the amount of time spent awake during the night, compared with CPAP alone.”

Of course you need to check with your doctor to see if this medication is something that you may be able to use. It is also important to remember that the sleep apnea patients also used the CPAP machines as well.
“The drug Diamox or Acetazolamide is used to treat glaucoma and to treat and to prevent acute mountain sickness (altitude sickness). It is also used as a part of some treatment plans for congestive heart failure and seizure disorders.”

Feel free to comment and please subscribe to my RSS Feed


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Is sleep apnea making you depressed?

One of my earliest blog posts dealt with depression and sleep apnea where I wrote about how obstructive sleep apnea might be part of the reason I have been plagued with depression.  In fact I have also had doctors tell me that they think the lack of sleep certainly could be a big factor in my being depressed, although it isn’t the only factor by far.  I read an article at the Scientific American website that seems to back up that idea.

According to the article, “People with depression or other mental illnesses often report trouble sleeping, daytime drowsiness and other sleep-related issues. Now a growing body of research is showing that treating sleep problems can dramatically improve psychiatric symptoms in many patients.”

A study was conducted at the Cleveland Clinic  assessed  that women have a greater chance of becoming depressed from sleep apnea than men who have twice the change of being depressed while women’s chances are five to one. 

In fact the article goes on to say that trying to deal with the sleep issues should be tried before attempting any use of anti-depression medications. This sounds like a great way to attack the problems of depression of course it wouldn’t work for everyone but it would be worth the endeavor.

Feel free to comment and please subscribe to my RSS Feed