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National Sleep Apnea Awareness Day is Today! 5 Facts to Know!

Take advantage of National Sleep Apnea Awareness Day!  Talk about your sleep with those around you at work, your family, and your friends.  Don’t be afraid to mention if you snore, and talk about whether your sleep is refreshing or not.  I’m sure you’ll be surprised to find out that you know someone with sleep apnea.  Talk about whether they are treating it and how.

 

If you have unrefreshing sleep and/or snore, Take the Sleep Apnea Quiz!

 

Here are some surprising facts that many of my patients are not aware of:

  1. Sleep Apnea is not a disease of obesity.  I have many patients who are “thin” with severe sleep apnea.  This is a disease of anatomy and it doesn’t discriminate.  Weight will generally make sleep apnea worse, but there are also obese people who do not have sleep apnea.

  2. CPAP can be tolerated and is effective.  I have many patients who swear by the improvements of CPAP therapy.  For some it worked from the start and for some I had to work with them to have success.  Since PAP therapy is the gold standard treatment and is non-invasive, all patients in my opinion should give it a good trial.

  3. Untreated sleep apnea is dangerous.  Only about half of sleep apnea patients complain of significant tiredness or fatigue, but all may have the health consequences associated with sleep apnea if untreated.  The degree of sleep apnea may contribute to how severely the disease is degrading your health, but make no mistake that this is a chronic disease not unlike Diabetes, which is slowly stealing your health and vitality, shortening your lifespan.

  4. Sleep Apnea is a real disease.  More recently, I was in a discussion with an educated middle-aged man just diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea.  After discussing the treatment and therapy with him, he replied, “But this isn’t a real disease, I don’t really have to do something about it, do I?”.  Unfortunately, sleep apnea is not well understood as the significant public health problem that it is.  All of the major diseases we suffer from in our later years are generally worsened by it

  5. Newer surgical techniques for sleep apnea are less painful and more effective.  While the old-fashioned “sleep surgery” legend still resounds in those who had it, newer reconstructive and more innovative techniques have lead to better recovery and results.  Surgery for sleep apnea doesn’t have to be such a horrible recovery and can have dramatic improvements on appropriately selected patients.  There are multiple sites of obstruction and a variety of options to help improve these anatomical locations.  If you have failed other non-invasive therapies, find a sleep surgeon who is experienced in these advanced techniques and is not still performing the same old “UPPP” for every patient.

 

Comment below about YOUR sleep issues.  It’s more important than you think!  I’ll make some recommendations on how to help.

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