Why A Sleep Apnea Diagnosis May Save Your Life

usnews.com featured an article why a sleep apnea diagnosis may save your life. Highlights from this article include:

  • Sleep apnea is one of the most under diagnosed conditions.
  • The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
  • People with OSA are at a greater risk for developing heart disease, heart attack, obesity, depression and sudden death.
  • OSA causes individuals to stop breathing periodically throughout the night or breathe shallowly so the oxygenation level of their blood plummets.
  • A person with OSA may wake up dozens of times an hour, yet these micro-awakenings aren’t usually conscious one so they may have no idea that they are happening.
  • Weight is a risk factor for the development of OSA but neck architecture is also involved. You do not have to be overweight to have OSA.
  • Symptoms of sleep apnea include: not feeling rested despite a good night’s sleep, excessive daytime or afternoon sleepiness, morning headaches, snoring, pauses in breathing or grunts, gasps or snorts.
  • Screening for sleep apnea can be done at home or in a sleep lab.

Why is having a diagnosis of sleep apnea more of a blessing than a curse…because:

  • Non-drug treatment is highly effective.
  • Treating sleep apnea can be life changing in regard to people’s energy, sleep and reducing the risks of sudden death.

Treatment options for OSA include:

  • Sleeping off of your back (where OSA is often worse)
  • Dental devices
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Here is a quick screening tool:

1. Do you snore loudly?

2. Do you feel tired during the day?

3. Has anyone ever seen you stop breathing during your sleep?

4. Do you have high blood pressure (high blood pressure that’s been treated counts as high blood pressure)?

5. Is your BMI greater than 30?

6. Are you older than age 50?

7. Is your neck size greater than 16 inches (men) or  17 inches (women)?

8. Are you male?

An answer of yes to three or more of these questions suggests you should talk to your health care provider about OSA.

Contact the Sleep Institute of New England at 603-347-8810 or check our website at www.sleepne.com for an appointment. Dr. Lynch is triple board certified in Internal, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine. The Sleep Institute of New England offers in lab sleep studies as well as home sleep tests.  The Sleep Institute of New England offers not only CPAP to treat sleep apnea but two oral devices the Somnoguard and the TAP where fitting and follow up is all done in our office.

Freedhoff, Y. (2013). Why a sleep apnea diagnosis may save your live. Retrieved April 19, 2013 from www.usnews.com

Link to article:


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