Thursday, June 24, 2010

AASM Past President Dr. Clete Kushida Explains Sleep Apnea

Stanford Hospital and Clinics posted an excellent YouTube video on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In it, Clete Kushida, MD, PhD, describes the top three treatment options for OSA. Dr. Kushida was President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine from 2009-2010. He is the Director of Stanford’s Sleep Medicine Center.

The three main treatments options are:

- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)- Surgery- Oral appliance therapy

He explains that oral appliances fit like mouth guards. They reposition the tongue or lower jaw forward. This action keeps the airway open.

Dr. Kushida says that in addition to pauses in breath, sleep apnea can negatively affect the body. It can cause morning headaches and dry mouth upon awakening. He notes that it can also lead to night sweats.

More importantly, untreated OSA can damage the cardiovascular system. It can also cause cognitive problems.

To find out if you have sleep apnea: you can take this quick questionnaire. If you score nine or more, you should contact a sleep center.

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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.