Monday, September 13, 2010

Vikings Player Tackles His Obstrucitve Sleep Apnea

According to Kevin Seifert’s recent ESPN blog post, Minnesota Vikings’ player Percy Harvin recently started treating his obstructive sleep apnea.

Harvin experienced a migraine and lost consciousness during practice on August 19. The doctors gave him an overnight sleep test, which showed that his troubles were rooted in sleep. Harvin’s results indicated that his breathing frequently stopped for up to ten seconds, depriving him of oxygen.

He told that he no longer takes his migraine medication, which he blames for his collapse. Instead, he uses continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to treat his OSA. This device pumps air into his nose to regulate his breathing during sleep.

Sleep apnea is a common problem in professional football players.

In June, this blog reported on a new study from the journal SLEEP that found that more than 19 percent of NFL players might have sleep apnea.

The study included 137 NFL players from six teams. Each athlete took an at-home sleep test. This test determined if a player stopped breathing during his sleep. It also measured how often the pauses occurred and for how long.

Five percent of the players had moderate to severe sleep apnea. Fourteen percent had a mild form of the condition.

The NFL players also took a sleep questionnaire. Snoring was reported by 100 percent of the players. Observed pauses in breathing and daytime sleepiness were reported by 25 percent.

Experts estimate that sleep apnea affects four percent of men in the general population. They suspect that 18 million Americans have the condition.

Image by Brandi Korte

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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.