Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Implanted device to treat apnea
There's been an interesting development in the world of sleep apnea treatment.
CBS Pittsburgh is reporting about a new implanted device called Inspire
. The patient featured in the article struggled with CPAP and dental solutions.
The device is compared to a pacemaker, with an electrode that moves the tongue to enable breathing to resume.
Inspire was approved by the FDA in May so it is a new player on the sleep apnea landscape.
It's worth keeping an eye on to see if it takes off.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Sleep apnea video
Just wanted to share a video from HelloMD that provides the basics of sleep apnea.
It features Dr. Kasey Li, who is touted as one of the world's leading sleep apnea surgeons.
I'm not endorsing surgery over CPAP - just sharing options.
Show this video
to loved ones you suspect may be afflicted.
Monday, October 6, 2014
Happy Sleep Apnea Awareness Week!
Just passing on a tip I received today about another means of combating sleep apnea that I had not heard of.
California company Advanced Brain Monitoring, Inc. has unveiled Night Shift,
which was recently approved by the FDA.
It is aimed at treatment of "positional" sleep apnea (and snoring) in patients who sleep on their back.
Here is an explanation provided by the company:
Night Shift is a new therapy recently cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration for the treatment of positional obstructive sleep apnea
(OSA) and snoring in patients who are significantly worse when sleeping
on their back. Worn on the back of the neck, the Night Shift begins to
vibrate when users begin to sleep on their back, and the vibration
slowly increases in intensity until a position change occurs. Unlike
conventional position therapies (e.g., tennis balls sewn into night
clothing or padding to restrict back sleeping), Night Shift delays the
start of therapy to allow the user time to fall asleep in any position.
Night Shift is also an intelligent, interactive monitor that tracks the
users' response to the therapy and measures its impact on snoring and
for more information and to learn how to purchase the device.
Click here for more information provided by the company on obstructive sleep apnea and positional therapy.
Friday, September 5, 2014
Stop the Snore in Michigan
Here's important information from the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine:
sleep experts agree: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – a potentially
life-threatening disease involving episodes of complete or partial
airway obstruction during sleep – is dangerously on the rise. As part of
the National Healthy Sleep Awareness
Project, the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine (MASM) is urging anyone
with symptoms of OSA to
pledge to stop the snore and talk to a doctor about sleep apnea.
shows that the number of sleep apnea sufferers continues to increase –
the disease afflicts at least 25 million American adults, and most of
them remain untreated,
increasing their risk of cardiac disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes
and obesity,” said Dr. R. Bart Sangal,
of the MASM, which is a partner in the Healthy Sleep Project. The
collaboration is led by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Fortunately, sleep apnea treatment by a board-certified sleep
specialist can stop, and may even reverse, many of these damaging
do you know if you should talk to a doctor about OSA? According to the
Healthy Sleep Project, here are five warning signs for sleep apnea:
Snoring. Besides being a nuisance to your bed partner or roommate, loud and frequent
snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea. While not everyone who snores has this sleep illness, snoring is a warning sign that should be taken seriously.
Choking or gasping during sleep. When snoring is paired with choking, gasping or silent
breathing pauses during sleep, it’s a strong indicator of sleep apnea.
Fatigue or daytime sleepiness.
“Sleep apnea can leave you waking in the morning feeling tired, even after a full night’s sleep,”
said Sangal. “Excessive daytime sleepiness often occurs because sleep apnea causes numerous arousals throughout
the night, and your body isn’t getting the quality sleep it needs.”
Obesity. An adult with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher is considered to be obese,
and the risk of sleep apnea increases with the amount of excess body weight.
High blood pressure.
A staggering 67 million Americans have high blood pressure, which
is about one in every three adults. Between 30 and 40 percent of adults
with high blood pressure also have sleep apnea, and getting treatment
for sleep apnea is a proven means of decreasing blood pressure.
these symptoms describe you, then you have a high risk for OSA. If
you’re ready to talk to a doctor about sleep apnea, the Healthy Sleep
Project encourages you to visit
stopsnoringpledge.org to pledge to stop the snore and find a local sleep
specialist at an AASM-accredited sleep center.
people believe that sleep apnea only affects older, overweight men, and
that simply isn’t true,” said Sangal. “Anyone can have sleep apnea,
regardless of gender, age or
body type – even if you’re not overweight.”
doctor may decide you need an objective sleep test, which will provide
the data needed to make an accurate diagnosis. Once diagnosed, the most
commonly recommended treatment
for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy,
which provides gently pressurized air through a mask, keeping your
airway open and making it easier to breathe. For patients who are unable
to tolerate CPAP, or who seek alternatives, knowledgeable
sleep specialists may be able to offer other treatments.
sleep apnea is a chronic disease that has a negative impact on the
health and well-being of millions of people in the U.S.,”
said Janet B. Croft, PhD, senior chronic disease epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Population Health. “It is important to discuss the warning signs for sleep apnea with your doctor to determine if you are at risk.”
For more information or to pledge to stop the snore and talk to a doctor about sleep apnea, visit
About the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine
in 1990, the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine (MASM), formerly known
as the Michigan Sleep Disorders
Association (MSDA), promotes and provides education in the field of
sleep medicine. The Academy brings together the full breadth of sleep
professionals, their health care colleagues, private industry and health
plans/insurers to promote communication, understanding
and management of sleep disorders and to improve health policy through
education programs, dissemination of scientific research and liaison
activities. For more information, visit
Friday, August 15, 2014
Homer Simpson has sleep apnea
Sorry I couldn't resist but it appears as though cartoon icon Homer Simpson has sleep apnea, as shown in previews for the Season 26 (!) premiere on Sept. 28.
The clip posted on Sleep Education's website
shows Homer, uh, struggling a bit with his CPAP. The slapstick nature of it is funny to anyone but it is especially relatable to those of us in apnea land when we recall our early days with the treatment.
FOX has teased that a character will die in the season's first episode and the Internet is abuzz with speculation that Homer is a goner based on his CPAP debacle and general unhealthy lifestyle.
I haven't seen the show in a few years but they aren't going to kill the most popular character (sorry Bart) on one of television's most enduring franchises of all time.
Besides, Homer's health will improve as he gets used to his CPAP.
Even though it's a cartoon, apnea awareness landing on the pop culture radar is a good thing.
Friday, July 18, 2014
New topics in apnea world: Singing and E.D.
It's been awhile.
I decided to fire up the blog again and came across a couple of interesting topics.
Apparently singing is now among the strategies (perhaps not universally accepted) to lessen the impact of apnea.
The topic is addressed in a Health Q and A in the Herald-Review in Illinois
. It cites a 2013 UK study on the success of a 3-month daily singing exercise program which can be found at www.singingforsnorers.com
I'm not vouching for this method (and it certainly shouldn't be a CPAP replacement) but, hey, singing never hurts.
In other news in apnea land, a study has found that regular CPAP use can help men who also suffer from erectile dysfunction, according to a report in Medscape
It is logical that the two ailments can occur simultaneously as being overweight can be a factor for both. It is hoped that perhaps men reluctant to use CPAP will spring into action with the added benefit of addressing their E.D.
"If sex sells it at the end of the day and gets more men to use their
CPAP, that's great," said Kerri Melehan, a sleep researcher at Sydney's
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where the study took place.
Yes, it is.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Apnea testing for pilots, air traffic controllers
Getting tested for sleep apnea is a choice for most people - one that too many people decide not to make.
Ignoring the symptoms is not an option for overweight pilots and air traffic controllers as the Federal Aviation Administration is requiring testing for them, CNN reports
This was prompted by reports of pilots or controllers falling asleep or being too tired on the job - a recipe for disaster when they are holding many lives in their hands. A pilot who fell asleep on a 2008 commercial flight in Hawaii - and missed the destination - was eventually diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Body mass index will be checked during exams which will determine who will undergo apnea testing.
To review, apnea interrupts breathing during sleep, which causes the sufferer to wake up dozens of times throughout the night. This results in being less than alert the next day. Many with sleep apnea are overweight with thick necks that obstruct normal breathing.
Required testing for overweight pilots and controllers is obviously long overdue.
Hopefully others who have symptoms - and pilot vehicles on the ground rather than planes - get tested and treated before making a sleepy mistake that harms themselves or others.