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Sleep Apnea

  • New Research Links Untreated Sleep Problems to Earlier Mental Declines

    As if there weren’t enough clear and compelling reasons to address the critical health issue of obstructive sleep apnea and heavy snoring, researchers at New York University’s Center for Cognitive Neurology have just exposed another one — it turns out that people who have been diagnosed with apnea or who snore heavily but who aren’t treated for the problem are much more likely to develop degenerative brain issues at an earlier age than those who seek and continue treatment. Continue reading

  • Sleep and the Transportation Industry

    The National Geographic Channel recently produced and aired a special documentary titled “Sleepless in America” that focused on what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called a public health epidemic of sleep deprivation in the United States. One of the primary issues that the show addressed was the impact that drowsy driving has on the safety of America’s highways, and of the specific need for better controls on the part of the transportation industry. Continue reading

  • Controversy Continues Over Truck Driver Apnea Testing

    The nation is growing increasingly concerned about the sleep deprivation epidemic that is responsible for billions in lost productivity across the country, and chief among the worries is the fact that so many truck drivers are driving while fatigued. Despite overwhelming evidence that those who are operating tractor trailers often do so with insufficient sleep, the trucking industry has continued to fight against regulations that would further limit the number of hours that drivers are allowed to operate their vehicles on America’s highway, and they have pushed back hard against the idea of mandatory testing to determine whether truck drivers are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder that can cause serious health conditions and has been the cause of many serious and deadly accidents. Continue reading

  • Sleep Apnea Garners Attention From Boston Red Sox Player

    Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that impacts an estimated 18 million Americans every year, but despite its prevalence, many people have never heard of it – including people who may be suffering from it. The condition can be caused by a number of different things, including obesity and facial deformity. It causes the airway to collapse upon itself when the sufferer falls asleep. After a brief period without air, the body panics and gasps for oxygen, awakening just enough to get the air that is needed. The patient is often completely unaware that this is happening despite the fact that it occurs hundreds of times per night. People who suffer from sleep apnea are often sleep deprived and suffer from extreme daytime drowsiness. They are also at risk for a variety of serious medical conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular problems, stroke, depression and high blood pressure. The majority of patients are overweight men over the age of sixty. Risk factors include having a thick neck, though sleep apnea can be diagnosed in men and women of all ages and health, and can appear in children as well. Continue reading

  • New Study Links Tongue Fat to Sleep Apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that afflicts millions of Americans as well as people around the world. The condition can lead to stroke, cardiovascular problems, diabetes and depression among other health issues, and has been linked with obesity. Now a new study out of the University of Pennsylvania is indicating that one of the possible causes for the condition may be a “fat” tongue.

    Obstructive sleep apnea presents itself with patients gasping for air in the middle of the night. It has been attributed to the muscles and tissue of the throat and airway collapsing onto itself while the patient is asleep, thus blocking the flow of oxygen to the body. Generally the patient ends up gasping for air as the brain reacts to the lack of oxygen. The condition puts tremendous stress on the body, and has been linked to high blood pressure, inflammation in the arteries, and of course fatigue. Though in some cases the obstruction may be caused by abnormalities of the palate or large tonsils or adenoids, in most cases physicians have attributed the condition to the patients’ weight and the first line of defense is often weight loss. The new study points to a specific type of fat. Continue reading

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