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Steven B. Ronsen updated their profile
Sep 15, 2018

All Articles (135)

Tracheostomy for Severe Sleep Apnea

A doctor I spoke to last night argued that severe sleep apnea should be treated more often with a tracheostomy. A tracheostomy is a surgical procedure to create an opening through the neck into the trachea (windpipe). A tube is usually placed through this opening to provide an airway into the upper trachea. This tube is called a tracheostomy tube or trach tube.… Continue

Added by Mike on March 18, 2009 at 2:30pm — 9 Comments

What is Sleep Apnea?

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Here's a simple response to the question of what is sleep apnea: sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.

Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on March 17, 2009 at 4:13am — 2 Comments

HIPAA Privacy Rule Must Die

The Problem

The HIPAA Privacy Rule must die. Since its inception in 2003, the HIPAA Privacy Rule has been invoked by health care providers not to protect us patients as Congress originally intended, but rather as a crutch for health care providers to fall back on when they have an interest, be it laziness, financial, incompetence or whatever, in making it more difficult for patients to gain control over our own health care decisions.

A Personal Anecdote

The… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on March 15, 2009 at 4:30pm — 15 Comments

The Silent Majority of People with Sleep Apnea

If you're reading this, you can pat yourself on the back. You're part of the elite, the "Top Gun" of those with Sleep Apnea. How? Largely just by virtue of knowing that you have Sleep Apnea -- ninety percent of those with Sleep Apnea remain undiagnosed. Moreover, not only are you in the top 90th percentile of the "Sleep Apnea Class," but because you're educating yourself about the disorder and trying to improve your life by actively seeking treatment, you, the members of this forum, are more… Continue

Added by Mike on March 9, 2009 at 11:30pm — 13 Comments

Old Sleep Apnea Supplies

Unlike a fine wine, CPAP supplies don't get better with age. In fact, they tend to deteriorate and become less effective over time, and be replaced by ever more comfortable and innovative CPAP technologies. So we're often taken aback to hear that someone's been using the same mask for years, not having even replaced the cushions. Ditto for the machines… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on March 9, 2009 at 3:00am — 8 Comments

Is Changing CPAP Settings on One's Own Machine Illegal?

I don't know. And that's the point. While never likely to be enforced, this article is to highlight that there is confusion over whether it's legal to change the settings on one's own CPAP machine. The CPAP community seems divided on the question of whether changing the settings should be legal, with most doctors, respiratory therapists and Durable Medical Equipment providers feeling we patients… Continue

Added by Mike on March 8, 2009 at 9:30pm — 10 Comments

Sleep Apnea Disability

Is Sleep Apnea a disability? The question of whether Sleep Apnea is a disability is a legal one concerning state and federal anti-discrimination laws. The short answer to whether Sleep Apnea is a disability: maybe. The Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") and related state laws don't define what constitutes a disability in black and white terms. Rather, the question as to whether Sleep Apnea is a disability, or whether any other disorder is a disability for that matter, rests on an… Continue

Added by Mike on March 4, 2009 at 8:30pm — 19 Comments

Moderate Sleep Apnea

Having Moderate Sleep Apnea is like having had a moderate heart attack: while better than "Severe," it's still dead serious. Mistakenly, my first reaction when getting the diagnosis of Moderate Sleep Apnea was relief. "Well, at least I'm not too far gone," I thought, as I let my guard down and didn't get serious about my Sleep Apnea treatment.

Then I did some research and found out what Moderate Sleep Apnea means.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)…


Added by The SleepGuide Crew on March 1, 2009 at 5:00pm — 4 Comments

Cartoonist Rick London Speaks Out On Sleep Apnea Surgery, And, How It Saved His Life

The apnea group, whom I had the pleasure to meet at Twitter has asked me to discuss my experience with sleep apnea. On November 22, 2008, I had major surgery to treat it.

It all started around 1998. My mother had just died in my rural home in Ms. I had returned there after almost two decades away to take care of her. I was there for four years as a caretaker. She was a trooper, always had lived life to the… Continue

Added by Rick London on February 27, 2009 at 9:00pm — 13 Comments

Blasting the Sleep Apnea Stereotype

Awareness is not yet widespread that Sleep Apnea is a disorder that doesn't just touch the lives of overweight, middle-aged men. But Sleep Apnea doesn't discriminate. Take James Simmons. He's 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighs 190 pounds and is only 23 years old. He's a top prospect to pitch in the Major Leagues for the Oakland A's, and can throw a 90 mph fastball. The… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on February 24, 2009 at 7:30pm — 7 Comments

Apnea Diagnosis

New scientific research indicates that an individual's anatomy might be critical in an apnea diagnosis. Researchers at the prestigious Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea have concluded that people with obstructive sleep apnea have soft palates that are more elongated and angled than those of people without the condition. The finding was made using sleep videofluoroscopy (a combination of X-ray images and video recording).

"Sleep videofluoroscopy… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on February 23, 2009 at 10:23pm — No Comments

Sleep Apnea Cure?

Is it possible that a pill will turn out to be a Sleep Apnea cure? Hard to fathom, but that's exactly what Cortex Pharaceuticals, Inc. of Irvine, Calif. has its sights set on with its new AMPAKINE CX1739 drug compound. Cortex says that animal studies have demonstrated that the AMPAKINE compound can stimulate the regions of the brain responsible for regulating breathing and muscle tone in the upper airway. The notion is that an increase in breathing and an improvement in upper airway… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on February 22, 2009 at 4:00pm — 16 Comments

Healthcare reform is coming, make sure sleep apnea does not get left behind

Let the President and your Members of Congress that addressing sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment are key to healthcare reform.

Visit the Advocacy page at the ASAA -


Edward Grandi
Executive Director
American Sleep Apnea Association

Added by Edward Grandi on February 21, 2009 at 10:06pm — 2 Comments

Sleep Studies

In a recent Sleep Study article, I wrote from a personal experience about the difficulty many people have coming to grips with a diagnosis of Sleep Apnea. A member of this forum then started a discussion about sleep studies, and about the prospect of a home sleep test conducted with the assistance and oversight of a registered respiratory… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on February 20, 2009 at 4:00pm — 2 Comments

Sleep Apnea and screening.

I am aware that there in Sweden takes place a development and testing of a screening device for Sleep Apnea (I think this is together with some of the CPAP manufacturers, and maybe even sponsored by them). This device is not bigger than a cigarette packet, and is intended for use by the primary care physician (PCP).

As far as my information, this device is measuring on breathing, oxygen levels, and a couple of electrodes on the chest. It takes only 5 to 10 minutes to teach the… Continue

Added by Henning on February 19, 2009 at 4:22pm — 1 Comment

Sleep Study

My wife's Sleep Study confirmed what I had suspected all along: my wife has Sleep Apnea. What I didn't bargain for is that this Sleep Study has landed me squarely within the four corners of the proverbial dog house. Here's why:

My wife has snored all night, every night since I've met her. It's so bad that I wear Macks earplugs just so I can get to sleep with all the ruckus. She's seen me go through all the stations of Sleep Apnea: the sleep study, the titration, the missteps, and the… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on February 18, 2009 at 10:56pm — No Comments

Sleep Apnea Depression

Sleep Apnea Depression. If you're asking which one it is, sleep apnea or depression, you're in good company: unfortunately, primary care physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists and patients often confuse sleep apnea and depression. Understandably so. Loss of energy, loss of interest in once enjoyable things, difficulty concentrating and fatigue are common symptoms of depression. But they are also common symptoms of sleep apnea, and new research is continually emerging to show… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on February 17, 2009 at 3:04pm — 35 Comments

Sleep Apnea and President Teddy Roosevelt

On President's Day, our thoughts naturally turn to those who have held the nation's highest office. Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, likely had Sleep Apnea. The reason? In 1912, there was an assassination attempt on his life which left him hospitalized for a week in Milwaukee, where the assassination attempt took place. The hospital reported that his snoring was so loud and erratic that other patients on his floor complained that they couldn't sleep and were… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on February 16, 2009 at 6:39pm — No Comments

COBRA and the Stimulus Bill

On Tuesday, President Obama is expected to sign into law the Stimulus Bill that Congress approved last week. The 1,000 page bill is complex and multifaceted, but for the members of, I wanted to highlight that it contains a provision that may help some of our members get diagnosed and treated for Sleep Apnea. Basically, for those who are laid off from their jobs between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009, the federal government will pay 65 percent of your COBRA… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on February 15, 2009 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Nocturia and Sleep Apnea

Reprinted from a discussion on nocturia posted by Steven Park, M.D., a featured member.

If you’re one of the millions of men and women who have to go the the bathroom far too often, or have embarrassing leaks of urine once in a while, here’s some important information that you should know. The New York Times (Feb. 3) reported on an article from the New England Journal of Medicine which revealed that… Continue

Added by The SleepGuide Crew on February 14, 2009 at 3:22pm — 1 Comment

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