Sleep Apnea Diagnosis Archives

overweight pilotsFAA has now revised its policy for pilots who now will be allowed to keep flying while being evaluated for the sleep apnea disorder.Facing a backlash from pilots and aviation lobbying groups, the FAA has reversed course on a controversial medical policy that would have grounded overweight pilots until they underwent screening for obstructive sleep apnea.
The FAA’s new medical screening guidance follows more than a year of lobbying efforts on behalf of several aviation organizations, including AOPA, the National Business Aviation Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association. As first revealed by the agency late in 2013, the FAA’s chief federal air surgeon sought to require that any pilot with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, and a neck size of 17 inches or greater, undergo obstructive sleep apnea screening prior to receiving a medical certificate.
The new policy, which takes effect March 2, will require overweight pilots who are diagnosed with OSA to receive treatment to continue flying.
AOPA President Mark Baker and NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen both applauded the policy change, calling the revised guidelines a “common-sense approach” to medical certification.

Firefighters May Have Undiagnosed Sleep Disorders

firefighters sleep problemsA recently concluded research study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has revealed that many firefighters may have undiagnosed sleep disorders.

Researchers examined nearly 7,000 firefighters from 66 fire departments across the United States. Of those, 37% suffered from a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, shift-work disorder and restless leg syndrome.

“These firefighters have also been found prone to car accidents or to have fallen asleep while driving”, the study findings have recorded. Chronic health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, depression and anxiety also have large probability among these firefighters, according to the research revelations. Read the rest of this entry

sleepImageAcross the globe more than a million exhausted people with sleep apnea—a sleep and breathing disorder caused when throat muscles relax and block the airway during sleep—get into car accidents, causing over a thousand deaths every year.

 Apnea is linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, an additional $3.4 billion in medical costs, and $16 billion in auto collision costs. Even though apnea has telltale signs (loud snoring, daytime fatigue), it remains totally undiagnosed in almost 75 percent of the people.

Polysomnography, the only diagnostic sleep study for sleep apnea is not cheap generally. the standard medical sleep study, requires a medical technician to attach 22 wires to a person’s body and monitor them all night long. The average cost is nearly $3,000. This is quite an out of the pocket expense for anyone. Follow-up tests are even more cost bearing and burdensome. The idea of doing clinical sleep studies once a month to monitor progress is a diagnostic crack-pipe fantasy. Read the rest of this entry

Sleep Apnea and Associated Health Problems

health problemsMajority of the people around the world living with sleep apnea may not realize their breathing is being interrupted while they sleep. Often family members might notice the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea first. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk of developing other life-threatening heath conditions such as hypertension, stroke and heart disease.

When someone has sleep apnea, their breathing stops or becomes shallow while sleeping. In adults, apnea is considered significant when these pauses in breathing last 10 seconds or longer and occur more than five to 15 or more times an hour.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type and is caused by the inability to move enough air through the mouth and nose into the lungs because of complete or partial blockage in the upper airways during sleep. When breathing resumes, it often is accompanied by a gasp, snort, body jerk or an arousal. Read the rest of this entry

sleep apnea experinecSleepApneaDisorder/CHICAGO/[Press Release]/ Physical wellbeing is not the only thing impaired by disrupted sleep patterns. While we’ve all experienced a sluggish day after a poor night’s sleep, adults with untreated obstructive sleep apnea can jeopardize much more than a productive day at the office. Drowsy, fatigued drivers have reduced reaction times and decision-making skills, posing a significant risk to themselves and others on the road. Dr. Brian Rotskoff of Clarity Allergy Center tests for and treats adult sleep apnea and childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) at his three Chicagoland offices.

Dr. Rotskoff specializes in nasal allergies, immunotherapy, asthma, as well as sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. “Sleep apnea is a breathing issue, first and foremost,” explains Dr. Rotskoff. “It is often characterized by snoring and restless sleep patterns, but what really happens during sleep apnea is breathing resistance or pauses in breathing. That resistance shouldn’t be ignored.” Dr. Rotskoff provides comprehensive screening for children and adults with OSA in Chicago, nocturnal sleep studies, and treatment using the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. Read the rest of this entry

Among patients who were identified as likely having moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, treatment based in primary care was not clinically inferior to treatment at a specialist sleep center for improvement in daytime sleepiness scores, according to a study appearing in the March 13 issue of JAMA.

“Obstructive sleep apnea with accompanying daytime sleepiness was estimated during the early 1990s to affect between 2 percent and 4 percent of middle-aged adults. With growing awareness of the public health implications of untreated disease and rising obesity rates that have increased the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea, there has been a steady demand for sleep service provision in specialist centers and growing waiting lists for sleep physician consultation and laboratory-based polysomnography (PSG),” according to background information in the article. Read the rest of this entry

78% People Unaware That They Have Sleep Apnea

sleep awarenessPhilips Electronics has announced the results of an extensive new scientific study into sleep apnea, conducted over the last two years by Philips in collaboration with University of Twente (Enschede, the Netherlands), Medisch Spectrum Twente Hospital (Enschede, the Netherlands), and patients’ organization ApneuVereniging.

The study, which surveyed 4,206 Philips employees in the Netherlands, revealed that 6.4% of them suffered from sleep apnea. A striking finding was that 78% of the people surveyed who reported symptoms of sleep apnea were entirely unaware that they were suffering from this sleep disorder.

Despite that fact that many people are unaware that they suffer from sleep apnea, the condition can have serious consequences for their health. It is also not difficult to treat. The aim of the study was therefore to gather up-to-date scientific information about how often sleep apnea, the commonest form of which is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) caused by obstruction of the upper airway, occurs. Read the rest of this entry

Take Charge of Your Sleep Apnea

sleep apnea awarenessUntreated sleep apnea, a condition that affects one in five Americans, can have dire health consequences. Sleep apnea is manageable through therapy, but because successful therapy is so individualized, getting to the right solution can be daunting. Learning from other patients’ stories can be critical to success, and a new effort launched today brings new sleep apnea patients together with these therapy veterans.

The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), the leading national patient organization for the condition and Wake Up to Sleep (WakeUpToSleep.com), an online patient support community, are launching an educational initiative to wake Americans up to the dangers of untreated sleep apnea and the treatment options available to improve their quality of life. The ASAA offers a comprehensive set of resources for those searching for information, and Wake Up to Sleep has one-on-one sleep coaches for those who have been newly diagnosed with sleep apnea or those who are struggling to control it. The joint initiative features a series of educational events leading up to Sleep Apnea Awareness Day on April 18th including a Twitter chat, discussion and the opportunity to submit video and written patient testimonials showcasing their treatment success. Read the rest of this entry

sleep apnea disorderSleep apnea is a common disorder in which a person experiences one or more breathing pauses or shallow breaths while sleeping. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea, in which the airway collapses or becomes blocked. It can range from mild to severe.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms: Snoring, daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, memory or learning problems or not being able to concentrate, feeling irritable or depressed, waking up frequently to urinate, dry mouth or sore throat upon waking.

Sleep Apnea Dangers: Untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity and diabetes; worsen heart failure; make irregular heartbeats more likely; and increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents. Read the rest of this entry

sleep center1WellStar Health System is celebrating helping people sleep better with the 20th anniversary of WellStar’s Sleep Medicine Program.

The Sleep Medicine Program was launch in March of 1993 with a two-beded sleep center at WellStar Kennestone Hospital. Today, WellStar’s Sleep Medicine Program has 20 beds at four locations in metro Atlanta and has performed nearly 30,000 sleep studies.

About 40 million people in the United States suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders, and an additional 20 million people experience occasional sleep problems. The WellStar Sleep Medicine Program treats sleep disorders ranging from insomnia to sleep apnea.

Sleep centers are located at WellStar Douglas, Paulding and Windy Hill Hospitals and the WellStar Acworth Health Park. The Sleep Medicine program now offers home sleep testing and plans to open two additional sleep centers at South Cherokee Medical Center in Woodstock and at the new East Cobb Health Park, slated to open September 2014. For more information, call 770-956-STAR or visit wellstar.org.

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