Monday, January 4, 2010

Revving Up Your Health for 2010

CNN Diet and Fitness Expert Dr. Melina Jampolis recommended treating sleep apnea in her 2010 New Year’s Resolution article.

In addition to eating healthy and sleeping 7-8 hours a night, Dr. Jampolis stressed treating sleep apnea to improve your overall health in 2010.

Many people do not realize that they suffer from a sleep-related breathing disorder (SBD). But more than 18 millions Americans have one: sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and primary snoring are both examples of SBD. They are conditions that affect how you breathe during sleep.

People with sleep apnea are at risk for many diseases. They have high rates of hypertension, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity, driving accidents and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Fifty to 75 percent of people with sleep apnea are treated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), the standard treatment therapy. CPAP keeps your airway open as you sleep with a steady stream of air. Most CPAP units are about the size of a small tissue box and plug into the wall. The box has a fan that pushes air through a tube. The tube is connected to a mask that you wear as you sleep. This mask allows the air to gently blow into the back of your throat.

There are other treatment options. Twenty-five to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients cannot tolerate CPAP and use oral appliance therapy to treat their SBD. An oral appliance looks like a mouth guard and repositions your lower jaw forward to keep your airway open at night.

Whether it’s with CPAP or oral appliance therapy, treating sleep apnea is important. Dr. Jampolis highlights sleep apnea because it’s a health condition that can't wait until 2011.

Learn how sleep apnea is diagnosed.

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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.