Snoring is completely normal, right? Loud snoring that wakes up my spouse or pet and sometimes even wakes me up is a pretty normal thing. I know tons of my friends who do it too. It's normal to snore... isn't it?
I hear the statements above (or some variation of them) a lot. Snoring is something that people tease one another about or, at worse, causes arguments between spouses about who deserves to sleep on the couch more. But, in truth, the majority of snoring is not a normal process of sleeping. And it can mean some serious problems for your health if left untreated.
Most snoring (about 70%) is caused by a literal obstruction in the throat. The sound of persistent nightly snoring can be explained by tissue in the throat or mouth that is obstructing air and causing the classic flapping or snorting sound that is the typical snore. So when I put it that way, doesn't it sound a lot more dangerous and a lot less "normal"?
If the majority of snoring is caused by an actual physical obstruct... [More]
In a press release dated August 25th, it was announced that the phrase 'continuous positive airway pressure', and the accompanying abbreviation 'CPAP', was added to the newest edition of the Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Accompanied by other, more trendy words and phrases, such as 'bromance', 'crowdsourcing' and 'fist bump', the word CPAP was defined through the following dictionary citation:
"abbreviated CPAP; a technique for relieving breathing problems (as those associated with sleep apnea or congestive heart failure) by pumping a steady flow of air through the nose to prevent the narrowing or collapse of air passages or to help the lungs to expand."
It was cited as originating in 1975 (which is before the CPAP invention date of 1981, so we're not sure where that date originates). It's nice to finally see such a common term being entered into one of the most common American dictionaries, especially considering how long it's been used and its increasing importance in the medical commun... [More]
A new study by the Swiss National Science Foundation shows, definitively, that sleep apnea symptoms return within one night of discontinuing CPAP treatment. A small study followed a group of CPAP users who discontinued treatment for two weeks to determine how quickly apnea events and sleep apnea symptoms returned. By the end of the study, breathing events had more than tripled across particpants. Information about the study can be found here:
Sleep Apnea Returns Rapidly When CPAP Stopped
These findings seem to be sort of common sense (as I'm sure many sleep apnea sufferers would agree), because CPAP treatment is not a cure for OSA (nor is it a prolonged pharmaceutical treatment). CPAP merely works to eliminate the blockages found in those with OSA, thereby eliminating the symptoms - not the disorder. It is nice, though, to see researchers focusing on OSA and it's treatment and lifestyle implications. And education about the chronic nature of sleep apnea is also very important, especial... [More]
The reality show 'Deadliest Catch', a Discovery show about Alaskan crab fishing, has been plagued by tragedy since its beginning. Viewers have seen cap-sized ships, lost crews, and the death of the gruff, but lovable, Phil Harris from the Cornelia Marie. The fishermen are facing another tragedy as the death of another of their compatriots has been revealed. Justin Tennison, a 33 year old fisherman on the Time Bandit, died in February of this year. Autopsy reports revealed that his death was due to complications related to sleep apnea.
Untreated sleep apnea can cause elargement of the heart, high cholesterol, and hardening of the arteries (and many other conditions). Many individuals with heart disease may have untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Stories like the tragedy of Justin Tennison remind CPAP users to stick with treatment, and hopefully will also bring awareness to those currently undiagnosed.
To read more about the new season of 'Deadliest Catch', visit ABC News for the f... [More]
As sleep apnea—and other forms of sleep-disordered breathing—gain recognition and awareness in mainstream culture, many people assume that these breathing disorders affect only adults. And while the vast majority of new cases of apnea are diagnosed in the adult population, doctors are seeing increased numbers of children exhibiting symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing. The symptoms, risk factors, ramifications, and treatments in the pediatric population can be quite different than in their adult counterparts.
Current estimates state that from 1 to 3 percent of the current US pediatric population suffer from the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). And, like adults who suffer from the same disorder, the first sign of OSA is usually snoring. While this symptom alone cannot conclusively diagnose OSA (up to 20 percent of children will show some degree of snoring, often intermittently), there are other signs that may point to some form... [More]