Friday, December 18, 2009

Hut Hut Hike - Steelers Take Offense Against Sleep Apnea

Shoppers got more than they bargained for this week at one Pittsburgh mall.

Several Steelers players and ESPN 1250 radio personnel were there raising awareness about sleep apnea. Watch the WTAE newscast here.

Shoppers received pre-tests and those who might have sleep apnea were encouraged to take an overnight sleep study. Sleep studies occur at sleep centers. People who are diagnosed with sleep apnea have several treatment options, including oral appliance therapy and CPAP.

An estimated 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. But 80 to 90 percent of these people do not know that they have the condition. Untreated sleep apnea increases a person’s risk for high cholesterol, heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

Steelers player Casey Hampton explained that Reggie White’s death raised many players’ awareness of sleep apnea. White was a Pro Football Hall of Fame member who suddenly died in 2004. Reports indicate that sleep apnea may have played a role in his death. After his death, NFL trainers encouraged larger players to get tested.

Many people think that sleep apnea can only affect overweight men. But this is not true. In November, The Office Blog of the AADSM reported on risk factors.

Football is not the only industry taking a serious look at sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and driving accidents. So leaders in trucking are currently considering screening all truck drivers for the condition. Read more here and here.

Image by MPR529

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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.