Monday, April 25, 2011

Virtual Choir 2.0 Praises the Beauty of Sleep

Dr. Larry Barsh, founder of Snoring Isn’t Sexy, posted a fascinating video on his blog recently. The video spotlights Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 2.0 ‘Sleep’ – an interesting twist on traditional music.

Sleep disorders affect 50-70 million Americans. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) alone causes breathing problems for more than 18 million Americans. While 80 to 90 percent of OSA patients are undiagnosed and untreated, there are numerous treatments available:

Oral appliance therapy: a custom-fit mouth guard may move the jaw and tongue forward to increase airflow.

Upper-airway surgery: jaw adjustments or the removal of the tonsils may improve airflow.

Positive airway pressure: a steady stream of airflow is provided via a nose and mouth mask to keep the airway open.

Behavior therapy: Side-sleeping and losing weight via diet and exercise can reduce sleep apnea in conjunction with the above three treatments.

Find a sleep center. Find a dentist qualified in dental sleep medicine.

Friday, April 15, 2011

President Obama Calls Attention to Air Traffic Safety

President Obama drew attention to the issue of air traffic safety today on Good Morning America. The dangers of shift work is receiving growing awareness as several air traffic controllers have fallen asleep on the job recently. The effects of shift work, and sleep disorders like insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea, can cause dangerous working situations. Sleep deprivation has been found to increase the risk of work-related accidents in transportation and medical industries.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pediatric Sleep Apnea Treatment Effective Two Years Later

A new study in the journal Sleep and Breathing found that rapid maxillary expansion (RME) was effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children. The results of the treatment were apparent two years after treatment ended. RME involves widening the jaws using oral appliances.

The researchers evaluated the objective and subjective data over a 36-month follow-up period to determine whether RME is effective in the long-term treatment of OSA. The study included 14 children. The children's mean age was 6.6 years at entry and 9.7 years at the end of follow-up. Each child underwent an orthodontic assessment to detect possible jaw deviation from normal occlusion: deep bite, retrusive bite and crossbite.

A high angle face can cause breathing problems for children. Another common cause of OSA is large tonsils or adenoids. Removing the tonsils or readjusting the jaw line can help children breathe more easily during sleep.

All 14 children completed a 12-month therapeutic trial using RME and 10 enrolled in the follow-up study. Of the 10 children, five were male and five were female. The ten children took an overnight polysomnography (PSG) to test for the presence of OSA at baseline, after one year of treatment, and two years after treatment completion.

Results show that the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) decreased and the clinical symptoms had resolved by the end of the treatment period. Twenty-four months after the end of the treatment, no significant changes in the AHI or in other variables were observed.

The researchers concluded that RME may be a useful approach in children with malocclusion and OSA, as the effects of such treatment were found to persist 24 months after the end of treatment.

Learn more about children and sleep here.

Disclaimer

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.