Sleep Apnea Guide

I have sleep apnea and use this blog to provide unbiased info about sleep apnea to create sleep apnea awareness. If you have sleep apnea, it is important to seek treatment.

What do the Boston Red Sox and Sleep Apnea have in Common?

Fenway (Photo by smellyknee)Both the Boston Red Sox and sleep apnea were both mentioned in the same article by Gary Gillis on the Official Boston Red Sox website on here.

Gillis writes about how traveling around the world to play exhibition games in Japan put a strain on Red Sox players' sleep patterns. He goes on to talk about sleeping patterns and how Americans are often sleep deprived.

Then he talks about sleep disorders, mentioning sleep apnea: "Caused by soft tissue blocking the airway, apnea more often affects men than women. It can lead to hypertension and increase the risk of stroke." Not mentioned are the many other risks of untreated sleep apnea including heart disease, high blood pressure and, of course, sleep disruption. Sleep disruption causes daytime sleepiness - preventing Red Sox fans from staying awake for the game!

A doctor interviewed in the article says that most disorders are treatable and can return a patient back to a normal night's sleep. Here on Sleep Apnea Guide, sleep apnea treatments are often discussed. Sleep apnea is highly treatable and there are several options.

The most common treatment is the use of a CPAP machine (a small device that pushes air down a patient's airway passage through a mask), but I've mentioned a few promising alternative treatments and sleep apnea studies on Sleep Apnea Guide. I've been using a CPAP machine for years. It's not as bad as it sounds, but it takes some time to adjust to it.

I am more awake with treatment and ready for the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series again and again.

Demonstration of Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea Treatment

The Medical News Network put out this almost 30-minute episode all about sleep apnea causes, symptoms and treatments. The interview is with Dr. Brock Rondeau who goes through sleep apnea causes, sleep apnea symptoms and some of the latest treatment options available including oral appliances.

What I found interesting was his demonstration of oral appliances that are alternatives to CPAP machines. Listen to what he has to say about oral appliances. An oral appliance may be a better option than a CPAP machine for some people. For children, Dr Rondeau explains that oral appliances are very effective and he shows before and after pictures.

Scary Stats About Sleep Apnea

An article written by Don Gronning entitled "Sleeping your way to health" (view article here) on the Daily Record's website (Ellensburg, Washington) quotes Dr. Geoffrey Greenberg, a sleep apnea specialist, as saying that studies show that of the people who have untreated obstructive sleep apnea, 40% die within 8 years.

My advice: Don't fear treatment.

Most people use a CPAP machine, which is simply Continuous Positive Airway Pressure delivered by a small device to a mask that goes over your nose or mouth and nose.

I have severe sleep apnea and use my CPAP every night, all night long. It's set on a very high pressure setting. It took some getting use to, yes, but it is not a medicine. I am currently unaware of side effects except nasal passage dryness, which is treated with over-the-counter saline nose spray.

You are not alone. A lot of people have sleep apnea.

Dr. Greenberg also points out that 4 to 5% of the American population has sleep apnea and it is more common than diabetes.

He reaffirms what I've heard before, that sleep apnea is not necessarily weight related. He states that 10% of sleep apnea sufferers are normal weight.

Sleep Apnea a Problem in China

According to an article by China Daily (here), obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA) affects more than 50 million Chinese people.

But a lot of people don't take sleep apnea seriously. The article goes on to quote Han Fang, of the People's Hospital of Peking University sleep center, who explains that 80% of the patients the sleep center sees are seriously troubled by sleep apnea.

Yet, the articles quotes Fang as pointing out the true issue: "Most of them are transferred by other medical departments to our center - usually in serious condition - rather than turning to us on their own in an early stage."

They didn't know.

The issue is the need to increase sleep apnea awareness. Hopefully, blogs like this one help.

How to Reduce Out-of-Pocket Sleep Study Costs

Not insured? Have to pay out-of-pocket?

halloween001 (Photo by Jimmy theSuperStar)The best way to reduce out-of-pocket sleep study costs is to pretend it is like buying a car. Shop around. Do your homework before choosing a sleep center.

Prices can vary from $2500 to $4000 out-of-pocket for a sleep study, according to Express CPAP Supply. That really is like buying a used car.

A Google search for "cost of sleep study" reveals many more discussions of the costs for out-of-pocket sleep studies with some people paying more than $5000 (see here and here).

Why the variation? Not all sleep studies are created equal. According to St. Joseph Memorial Hospital (see here): "Because of the variety of sleep disorders, the required sleep monitoring and evaluation studies may vary and consequently the total cost of the sleep study may also vary."

So it pays to talk to your doctor about the options to minimize out-of-pocket sleep study expenses. Maybe you don't need to fancy sleep study. Or maybe your doctor can recommend lower cost sleep centers.

Another emerging option is special deals that CPAP supply companies offer. For instance, Express CPAP Supply of San Jacinto, California, recently partnered with a sleep lab to offer lower rates for sleep studies. They offer a $999 sleep study and CPAP system combo. More info on Express CPAP Supply's website here.

Another Alternative Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

An article on WSOC Charlotte discusses alternative treatments to obstructive sleep apnea for patients who are not good candidates for CPAP treatment. The treatment is called the "Advance System", a trademarked system by Aspire Medical, Inc. The treatment is still in clinical trials, but represents a potentially viable alternative sleep apnea treatment for a segment of patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

This alternative obstructive sleep apnea treatment involves having a tissue anchor insert alongside a tether and a bone anchor. WSOC outlines the steps involved with this treatment:
"First, the tissue anchor is inserted into the tongue and held in place with tiny barbs. Next, the bone anchor is screwed into the jaw, under the chin. Finally, a tether, or cord, is connected to the two implants, tied and tightened. Insertion of the Advance system is a minor surgical procedure that takes about 20 minutes. It can be done under general or local anesthesia. Patients come back two to three weeks after placement to have the tension of the tether adjusted." (Source: WSOC Charlotte)
Read the complete News Story here on WSOC's website.

Aspire Medical has pictures and a video here of their sleep apnea device that is still in clinical trials.

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About this blog

This website aims to create awareness about Sleep Apnea. I'm not a doctor or an expert on Sleep Apnea. If you have questions, please see your doctor.

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