Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sleep Apnea May Slow Stroke Recovery

Some researchers now recommend that stroke patients get screened and treated for sleep apnea to speed their recovery.

This counsel comes after a new study in the journal Neurology indicated that sleep apnea affects 50 to 70 percent of stroke patients.

The study found that sleep disordered breathing could compromise neurological recovery in stroke patients.

Stoke patients who suffer from sleep apnea have several treatment options. Oral appliance therapy is a safe and effective method for many patients.

Sleep apnea happens when the soft tissue in the back of the throat relaxes and blocks the passage of air during sleep. Oral appliances, which look like mouth guards and are worn at night, help to maintain an open airway by moving the jaw forward. They are fitted by dentists trained to treat sleep apnea.

Patients can also use CPAP and weight loss to decrease the severity of their apnea.

Sleep apnea screening is not just important for stroke patients. Early diagnosis and treatment of apnea can help prevent a stroke before it happens.

Stroke is one of many diseases that apnea patients are at risk for. They also have an increased risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and diabetes.

Signs of sleep apnea include excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, and loud snoring.
Visit an accredited sleep center to get tested.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.