Stroke and sleep apnea: Strange bed partners

Stroke and sleep apnea manStroke researchers now know that sleep apnea is very common after stroke. We have found that about 75% of stroke patients have sleep apnea. This is important because sleep apnea has wide-ranging consequences for stroke patients.

Why it’s important for sleep apnea to be diagnosed in stroke patients

Sleep apnea is a predictor of poor outcomes following stroke, such as greater disability and higher mortality. The exact reasons for this are unknown at this time and warrant further study.

In addition, it is possible that sleep apnea contributes to increased stroke risk by promoting atherosclerosis, hyper coagulability (an abnormally increased tendency for the blood to clot) and adverse effects on cerebral hemodynamics (the forces involved in the circulation of blood in the brain).  Continue reading

Sleep apnea: Do you have it?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder in which your breathing is repeatedly obstructed or restricted fully or partially for periods of 10 seconds or longer while you sleep. Although millions of people have sleep apnea, most don’t know it because the symptoms happen while they’re sleeping.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the brain sends the signal to the muscles and the muscles make an effort to take a breath, but they are unsuccessful because the airway is blocked and prevents a good flow of air.

Sometimes the bed partner or a family member of a person with sleep apnea will tell them that they snore. While snoring is a good indicator of obstructive sleep apnea, there are other symptoms they should also be aware of.
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7 Tips For Proper Use of Your CPAP Machine

CPAP machineMore than 28 million Americans have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is usually treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. That means there are a lot of CPAP machines out there. As with any machine, there can be problems. Here are a few tips to make sure that you and your CPAP machine get along well.

  1. Leaking mask

If the CPAP mask begins to leak during the night, pull the mask gently forward to allow the mask cushion to reset, and then allow the mask to settle on your face.

  1. Dry, stuffy nose

If you are experiencing a stuffy nose:

  • Increase the heat setting on your CPAP heated humidifier.
  • Use saline nasal spray or mist before going to bed to help moisten nasal passages.
  • Contact your physician if nasal dryness or stuffiness persists.

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Snoring and its link to heart disease

Annoying habit raises risk for hypertension, stroke, heart attacks


Men more than women are at risk for sleep problems that raise the risk for hypertension, stroke, heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues.

Men more than women are at risk for sleep problems that raise the risk for hypertension, stroke, heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues.

Heavy snoring can sound funny to your sleep partner and annoy them terribly, but it is no joke. It is often the sign of a condition called obstructive sleep apnea, which we now know raises the risk for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

People with obstructive sleep apnea stop breathing for 10-20 seconds while they sleep, and this can occur from a few to hundreds of time a night. Snoring doesn’t occur in every case of sleep apnea, and all people who snore don’t have sleep apnea, but anyone who is told they snore should consider obstructive sleep apnea as a possible cause. Continue reading

Sleep better, look better? New research says yes

Sleep apnea treatment may make patients look more alert, youthful & attractive

sleepy face blog

Before and after images from a sleep apnea patient. Both computer analysis and independent judges detected the effect of better sleep on appearance.

Getting treatment for a common sleep problem may do more than help you sleep better – it may help you look better over the long term, too.

That’s what U-M sleep researchers found when they studied the faces of 20 patients with sleep apnea, before and after they received treatment at the U-M Sleep Disorders Center.

The study suggests that the impact of sleep on appearance goes far beyond just “looking sleepy” after a single late night, or being bright-eyed after a good night’s rest.

It’s the first study showing specific improvements in face appearance after treatment for sleep apnea.

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Is tonsil and adenoid surgery always the answer for children with sleep apnea?

mott blog - sleep apnea tonsilIt’s estimated than 1 to 4 percent of children suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when a child’s breathing is partially or completely blocked repeatedly during sleep.

Symptoms of sleep apnea can include loud snoring, gasps or pauses in breathing while sleeping, and restless or sweaty sleep. These children can also have daytime symptoms, including being tired, irritable or problems concentrating.

Research is increasingly showing that untreated pediatric sleep disorders including sleep apnea can wreak a heavy toll while they persist. If not treated, serious cases of sleep apnea can lead to a variety of problems. These include heart, behavior, learning, and growth problems.

Many children with sleep apnea have large tonsils and adenoids, although obesity and other medical problems can also be a factor. When a child’s tonsils or adenoids are thought to be the culprit, the most common treatment approach has typically been to remove the child’s tonsils and adenoids.

The decision to put a child through any surgical procedure is not one to be taken lightly, however, even with a procedure as  common as this one.

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