Can playing a musical instrument, the Didgeridoo, help treat Sleep Apnea? Sounds like a gimmick, but there's actually some credible scientific evidence showing exactly that. The Didgeridoo appears to strengthen muscles in the airway, reducing the likelihood of their collapse and obstruction. For some serious scientific evidence on the effectiveness of the Didgeridoo in the treatment of Sleep Apnea, check out PubMed and the…Continue
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
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.
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
The apnea group Sleepguide.com, 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
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.
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
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
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
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
Are we ashamed of having Sleep Apnea? I know the answer for myself is a resounding "no." But for others, it's not so simple. To my way of thinking, Sleep Apnea is a common disorder to which no stigma is attached. Sure, sleeping with a hose attached to a breathing machine every night is inconvenient, but I don't feel as if it's something I need to hide. But for my friend Peter (name changed for sake of anonymity), it's a black mark that he feels compelled to hide from others. When he… Continue
The connection between Sleep Apnea and Diabetes is real and scary. Studies published in the European Respiratory Journal and Journal of Internal Medicine tell us that up to 40% of people with Sleep Apnea will have Diabetes. Other studies show that up to 50% of those with type 2 Diabetes have Sleep Apnea. Essentially, Sleep Apnea causes intermittent shortages of oxygen in the body and fragmentation of sleep, which in turn causes physiologic stress which then wreaks havok on glucose… Continue
If you haven't heard, Medicare and private insurers are putting the screws to the DMEs that provide our Sleep Apnea equipment in an effort to cut costs, much to the chagrin of DME providers. One aspect of the cost-cutting is to deny reimbursement to DMEs and other providers that cannot show that their patients are complying with CPAP treatment. While at first blush, this might seem like an adverse development for us patients, the problem for us might be that the insurers didn't do this sooner,… Continue
The comment period is over, and the attached represents the revised version, based on your feedback so far. The original, along with the context surrounding it, is set forth in this article. Given the growth of the community over the past month, and the addition of many knowledgeable… Continue
Sleep Apnea and Truckers. To the Respironics, Resmeds and Fisher Paykels of the world, the two go together like Love and Marriage. To truckers the combination is more like oil and water. Clearly, the manufacturers have the moral high ground. But whether they will be able to woo truckers remains to be seen.
Truckers are disproportionately predisposed to having some form of Sleep Apnea, with one study pegging the number at 28% of all those holding commercial trucking… Continue
For all of you who don't know the difference between A-Flex and C-Flex on Respironics CPAP machines, you're in good company. Each is a comfort option on the most popular Respironics CPAP machines that makes it easier to tolerate CPAP treatment. A-Flex is a little more comfortable than C-Flex, in that it provides pressure relief on both inhalation and exhalation. C-Flex only provides pressure relief on exhalation.
However, there is often a trade-off between comfort and the… Continue
Do you experience frequent urination at night? Or did you experience frequent urination at night before getting treated for Sleep Apnea? If you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, it is very likely the cause of your urination problems. Treat the Sleep Apnea problem, and you will find yourself waking up to go to the bathroom less often. Here's how come:
When the airway is blocked or partially blocked as it is during an apnea or hypopnea event, the body must exert more effort to… Continue
Does OSA raise a red flag on the dating scene? I'm clueless since I was already in a committed relationship when diagnosed, but it remains an open question, especially for my single friends. Here's one personals ad I came across that just "puts it out there":
"Yes, I am a man with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. I am not obese, nor do I have a neurological condition. Some doctors claim they can 'fix me' with surgery, but after much research about the procedures I decided not to pursue… Continue
At the request of some members of the community, we thought we'd jazz things up here by offering more variety in the default profile pictures you can add to your profile page. Right now, you're automatically assigned a picture of a snoring man next to his frustrated wife if you have not uploaded something else there. We encourage you to make this icon your own. You can change your default icon by going to your profile page ("My Page" on the above menu bar), and clicking the link to change your… Continue
If you didn't like first three minutes of the Sleep Apnea Surgery segment on FOX featured in yesterday's article, you're going to hate the last minute. At about the three minute mark in the video, embedded below, the host, co-host and even the surgeon being interviewed each take turns at belittling and mocking CPAP users:
"Kind of makes you look like the Montauk… Continue