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Do I Need a Sleep Study?

If you suspect that you or a loved one suffers from a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea, the first step is diagnosis.

A sleep test, whether conducted in your own home or in a sleep center, is the only way to properly diagnose or rule out a sleep disorder, and must be ordered by your physician.

There are two different kinds of sleep studies: diagnostic and titration studies.

The diagnostic study will diagnose or rule out a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. After having this study, your doctor can tell you, “Yes, you have sleep apnea,” or “No, you don’t have sleep apnea. Let’s look for other causes of your symptoms.”

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You can have a diagnostic sleep study in your own home (called a home sleep test, or HST) or in a sleep center.

You may choose one type of test over the other based on the type of sleep disorder you are suspecting, if you have other serious medical conditions and your insurance coverage.
In-center polysomnography (PSG) records your brain waves, heartbeat and breathing as you sleep in a sleep center.

It also charts your eye movements, limb movements and oxygen in your blood. PSG is also referred to as a diagnostic study, attended PSG, or fully attended overnight sleep study. PSG can diagnose or rule out sleep disorders such as obstructive and central sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome (RLS) and more. For more info on in center sleep tests, visit Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc..

HST is a type of diagnostic polysomnography which is self-administered by the patient in his/her home.

It is used to diagnose sleep apnea by recording several channels of information: respiratory effort, pulse, oxygen saturation, nasal flow and snoring. HST is a convenient and cost-effective alternative to in-center sleep testing for many patients if it is highly likely that the patient has moderate to severe sleep apnea, and if the patient has no other significant medical issues such as pulmonary diseases, neuromuscular disease or congestive heart failure. HST cannot be performed on children and cannot diagnose other sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder or narcolepsy. These patients should be tested in a sleep center. For more information on home sleep tests, visit Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc.

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If you have sleep apnea, you may require a titration study.

Even if you don’t expect to use PAP therapy to treat your sleep apnea, many insurances will require that you start with PAP therapy before they will cover the expense of any PAP alternatives.

A titration can be completed the same night as your diagnostic study if you’re testing in a sleep center. This type of combo-study is called a split night or 50/50 study. A split night begins with diagnostic polysomnography and switches to PAP therapy titration once the patient shows sufficient apnea events. This test is often ordered when sleep apnea is highly likely and can eliminate the need for a second night sleep study if the titration is successfully completed.

If your diagnostic test was done with a home sleep test (HST), your titration may be completed in a sleep center or in your home. Recently, many patients and insurance companies are opting for in-home titrations after a sleep apnea diagnosis is made using a home sleep test. This is called an auto-PAP titration. If you come into the sleep center for a full-night titration, you will use PAP therapy for the entire night and the technician will adjust the pressure settings to eliminate apneas.

For more information about different types of sleep studies and the sleep disorders they can diagnose, visit us at www.sleepdr.com.

Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc. - Julia Guest article provided by:
Julia Steele Rodriguez, Vice President of Marketing and Operations at Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc.

At Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc., our mission is to empower sufferers of sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, to lead more fulfilling lives by improving their sleep. We believe that by caring for and educating our patients and diagnosing and treating their sleep disorders we can help them achieve better health.

With 20 locations across California, we are the leading provider of in-center and in-home (HST) sleep studies, PAP therapeutic devices, and replacement PAP supplies. We are contracted with more than 300 medical groups and commercial health plans. We partner with independent physicians who are at the forefront of the field of sleep medicine and together we provide high-quality, affordable, result-oriented and patient-centric diagnostic and therapeutic sleep medicine services. We strive to make all our interactions with patients, referring physicians, coworkers, and others courteous, caring and professional and we consider each interaction with our patients as an opportunity to live up to our commitment to the highest standards of patient care.

Sleep Apnea’s Effect on Sex Drive and Sexual Function

It seems to be common knowledge these days that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is tied to troubling health issues including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. However, fewer people are aware that sleep apnea and its consequences can result in a wide range of sexual health issues, including libido, sexual function, and intimacy. In addition, both men and women can suffer these problems if they are not properly treated for their sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea & Sexual Health: The Studies

Within the past two decades, a large number of studies have confirmed that sleep apnea can affect a number of different facets of a person’s sex life, from their sex drive to their hormone levels, to their erectile function. Below, we will highlight just a few of the recent studies involving sleep apnea and sexual health.

  • A 2009 study found that a staggering 69 percent of men with diagnosed OSA suffered from erectile dysfunction, compared with just 34 percent of people without sleep apnea. The study examined 401 adult men and corrected for factors such as age and weight.
  • A 2011 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women suffering from untreated sleep apnea had higher rates of sexual dysfunction and sexual difficulties. The study, which compared 80 women with sleep apnea to 240 women without the sleep disorder, found that no matter how mild or severe the OSA, women were negatively affected by their condition.
  • Researchers at the Walter Reed Military Medical Center found that a significant number of men who treat their sleep apnea see a large improvement in their sexual function and sexual satisfaction. The study followed 92 men with an average age of 46 who had been diagnosed with OSA and who were being treated with CPAP therapy.
  • A 2008 sleep apnea study of 15 patients who underwent maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) surgery (also known as bimaxillary advancement surgery) found that, six months after the operation, a statistically significant number noted an increase in satisfaction with intimacy and sex.
  • A 2007 study of 25 women with obstructive sleep apnea found that all aspects of sexual functioning were were affected by the sleep disorder save two: enjoyment and pain. The study excluded women with genital deformity, postmenopausal women, and women without a regular partner and controlled for factors like age and c0-morbid diseases.
  • A 2011 sleep apnea study focused on sexual hormone levels and sleep apnea found that disrupted sleep caused by sleep apnea affects the testosterone levels of both men and women. Testosterone is a hormone that affects sex drive in both sexes.

Why Does Sleep Apnea Hurt Sex Drive?

While research is showing that OSA can hinder many aspects of patients’ sex lives, the answer to why the relationship exists is more difficult. First and foremost, physicians believe that the lack of deep sleep caused by sleep apnea affects sex hormones that drive our libido. In addition, sleep apnea often leaves patients drowsy, unable to focus, and fatigued – not a recipe for a happy sex life. Finally, sleep apnea negatively affects blood pressure, weight, and overall health, which in turn could affect sexual function.

Sleep Apnea Solutions

At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we understand that sleep apnea doesn’t just affect how tired you are, it affects your overall quality of life. We are dedicated to helping our patients take back their health and their lives by finding the right solution for their needs. Whether CPAP, oral appliances, or sleep apnea surgery.

To learn more about our sleep apnea surgery treatment model or to speak to a doctor, please contact us at 855-560-7378 or fill out our questionnaire below to see if you are at high or low risk of suffering from sleep apnea.

 

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Sleep Apnea: Sleep Disorders

Amanda Peterson Struggled With Sleep Apnea Before Her Death

Shortly after her untimely death at the age of 43, 1980s movie star Amanda Peterson’s father told the media that his daughter had struggled with a number of health issues in recent years including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). While the former actress’ cause of death has not yet been determined by officials, her father believes that her sleep apnea could have contributed.

Peterson was best known for playing the role of Cindy Mancini opposite Patrick Dempsey in the 1987 hit Can’t Buy Me Love. She also appeared in several other movies of the time, including Annie, The Lawless Land, and Explorers. She retired from acting in 1994, following her performance in Windrunner, and had since returned to school and taken up writing.

Her father told TMZ that the family had not heard from Peterson since July 3 and that her body was discovered at her home on July 5. Peterson was living in Greeley, Colorado, at the time of her death, where she she was born and raised.

In recent years, according to family, Peterson had suffered from several health issues, including sleep apnea, sinusitis, and pneumonia. Until last year, she was living in a residence that was infested with mold, and issue that could have also affected her health.

Can Sleep Apnea Be Fatal?

While many people believe that obstructive sleep apnea is simply a nuisance that causes snoring and fatigue, sleep apnea has been linked to extremely serious health health conditions that may shorten life expectancy and cause death, including heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. In fact, a University of Wisconsin study found that people with OSA have a three-fold chance of death over an 18-year period compared to those without sleep disorders and untreated sleep apnea sufferers died at five times the rate of those without the disease.

In addition to shortening life, sleep apnea may also be a contributing factor in a person’s death. A Mayo Clinic sleep apnea study found that having severe sleep apnea almost doubles your risk of dying of a sudden heart attack, especially at night when a person may have difficulty breathing due to his or her sleep disorder.

In 2004, Hall of Fame pro football player Reggie White died suddenly in his sleep, also at the age of 43. Doctors determined that his cause of death was a combination of cardiac arrhythmia and cardiac sarcoidosis. Sleep apnea was described as contributing to his death.

Sleep Apnea Surgical Solutions

Although we do not yet know what caused the tragic and untimely death of Amanda Peterson, we do know that untreated obstructive sleep apnea can have fatal consequences. For this reason, it is vital for those suffering from moderate to severe sleep apnea to find a workable treatment that fits their lives.

To learn more about our treatment options and CPAP alternatives, please contact us at (855) 560-7378 or email us today.

cpap - obstructive sleep apnea

CPAP Facts

CPAP Facts

  •  The CPAP device was invented in 1980 by Colin Sullivan, M.B.B.S., Ph.D, FRACP. It because commercially available in 1985. National Sleep Foundation.

 

  • Nearly half of all sleep apnea patients are not compliant with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device treatment. These patients cite discomfort and inconvenience as two reasons they do not treat their condition. National Center for Biotechnology Information.

 

 

  • Even those who continue to use their CPAP device often don’t use it consistently or for the entire time they are asleep. Those who use a CPAP device every night only use it for an average of six hours per night, while those who sometimes skip nights only use it for an average of three hours per night. The benefits of CPAP use are affected even if a single night is missed. National Institute of Health.

 

  • Surprisingly, most types of spousal involvement don’t increase CPAP usage. Although collaborative involvement somewhat increased regular CPAP use over three months, positive, negative, and one-sided involvement did not improve usage and in some cases decreased useage. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

 

  • The CPAP device can cause sleep disturbance issues unrelated to obstructive sleep apnea, including interrupted sleep from wearing the mask and hose, insomnia, headaches, pressure sores and skin irritation, psychological issues like claustrophobia, and nasal issues such as dry and stuffy nose. Mayo Clinic.

 

  • The CPAP market in the United States was estimated at $1.5 billion in 2010. It is expected to grow to $2.5 billion by 2017. Trib Total Media.

 

Alternatives to CPAP - Surgical Sleep Solutions

 

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Fitness Trackers, Sleep Tracking & Sleep Apnea

In the past three years, dozens of fitness trackers like FitBit, Garmin, Jawbone, and Apple Watch have allowed users to monitor their steps, their active minutes, their heart rates, and their workouts. Many of these devices offer a different set of statistics when users wear them to bed: they track how long users sleep, how many times they were restless, and even how long users stayed in different stages of sleep, including REM sleep.

Now, fitness tracker users are wondering just how accurate their devices are at monitoring sleep and whether or not sleep data gathered from fitness trackers can help diagnose or treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers At Monitoring Sleep?

In 2011, Hawley Montgomery-Downs, a sleep researcher and associate professor at West Virginia University, set out to find just how accurate fitness trackers are at monitoring the sleep cycle. Specifically she studied how FitBit, one of the most popular sleep trackers, stacked up against the polysomnography and standard actigraphy tests used by sleep doctors to diagnose many sleep disorders, including sleep apnea.

The study, which invovled 24 healthy adults, found that the FitBit overestimated sleep by over an hour, while the actigraph – which also tracks sleep through movement – overestimated sleep by about 43 minutes.

“Unless the device has undergone independent testing and published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, their claims are baseless,” Montgomery-Downs said.

Ultimately, those who believe that they may be suffering from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea should visit their doctor, see a sleep specialist, and get tested during an overnight sleep study.

Fitness Trackers for Sleep Apnea Sufferers

Although fitness trackers and sleep monitors should not be used to diagnose or monitor sleep disorders, sleep apnea sufferers may still find that fitness trackers have some benefits. For example, studies have shown that getting regular exercise can help minimize the severity of sleep apnea. At the same time, OSA sufferers may be able to gain some very general information about their sleep patterns, such as roughly how many hours of sleep they are getting per night.

Take the Sleep Apnea Self-Evaluation

At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we are dedicated to helping people across the country and throughout the world successfully treat their obstructive sleep apnea. We know that one of the most important steps in this process is getting OSA sufferers diagnosed as quickly and accurately as possible.

Take our free, confidential sleep apnea self-evaluation today.

To learn more about our sleep apnea surgical solutions please contact us at (800) 560-7378.

Obstructive sleep apnea and asthma - Surgical Sleep Solutions

Asthma Patients Have Greater Risk for Developing Sleep Apnea

An eight-year sleep study has revealed that asthma sufferers are significantly more likely to develop sleep apnea over time than those who do not have the breathing disorder.

According to MedPage Today, the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study found that people with asthma had a 72 percent higher likelihood of developing sleep apnea over an eight-year period than those without asthma. Put another way, for every five years a participant suffered from asthma, their likelihood of developing sleep apnea increased by 12 percent.

At the beginning of the study, 41 percent of the participants with asthma reported having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), while 29 percent of the participants without asthma suffered from OSA.

The Connection Between Asthma & Sleep Apnea

Researchers also found that the longer a person had suffered from asthma, the greater the chance they had of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Individuals with child onset asthma had the highest rate of developing sleep apnea during their lives.

“There has been a body of evidence published suggesting that there is a relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and asthma,” said Dr. Mihaela Teodorescu, a sleep disorder researcher at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where the sleep study took place. “Each disorder makes the other worse, so understanding what starts this vicious cycle is very important. We asked the question of whether asthma promotes the development of obstructive sleep apnea.”

Teodorescu also said that while it is increasingly likely that asthma and sleep apnea are linked, further study needs to done in order to determine how the two disorders affect each other. Once the relationship is clearer, scientists may be able to make advances in diagnosing and treating these paired diseases.

The Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study has followed 1,483 people since 1988. Of the group, 205 self-reported a history of having asthma. Each participant is interviewed and answers a detailed questionnaire every four years.

Asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease of the airway, affects up to 300 million people around the world. it causes a number of serious complications, including difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Asthma is often worse at night and can be aggravated or triggered by environmental factors.

Surgical Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we are committed to helping OSA patients find effective, affordable, and convenient treatments for sleep apnea. To learn more about our unique treatment model and surgical procedure, bimaxillary advancement, please call our center today at (855) 560-7378.

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Is Sleep Apnea an Epidemic?

The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 18 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – and that millions of men and women throughout the country have signs and symptoms of the sleep disorder but have not been diagnosed. Many physicians and researchers also believe that the number of sufferers may only increase in future years.

At the same time, sleep apnea headlines have plastered our newspapers: one in three professional football players have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes train wreck. Sleep apnea tied to bone loss.

Why is sleep apnea becoming more prevalent? Is sleep apnea becoming an epidemic in the United States? And why should we care?

Why is there More Sleep Apnea than Ever?

It may seem like everyone has sleep apnea these days when just a few decades ago, it was rarely mentioned. There are several reasons that sleep apnea seems to be skyrocketing:

  • Growing awareness. Very simply, physicians and the general public are more aware of the issue of sleep apnea. Slowly, more and more people are recognizing symptoms, requesting help, and getting a diagnosis. At the same time, more doctors are realizing that sleep apnea can be the cause of a number of other health problems and should not be ignored.
  • An aging population. As the Baby Boomers become older, they become more susceptible to sleep apnea: they gain weight and their airways may become weaker and narrower. The result is that a significant number of new seniors are beginning to show signs of the sleep disorder.
  • Obesity issues. More than one-third of Americans are now considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With a rise in obesity comes a rise in sleep apnea cases.
  • Lifestyle trends. More Americans are spending longer hours in the office and less time on their feet. This can lead to weight gain and poor health, both of which are associated with sleep apnea. Drinking and smoking also contribute to the issue.

An Epidemic Worth Fighting

With all of the other troubles in the world, why should sleep apnea be such an important health issue to Americans? Many researchers and doctors believe that sleep apnea could be a contributing factor to a growing list of extremely dangerous and deadly diseases and health conditions, including:

  • High blood pressure/hypertension.
  • Heart disease and heart attack.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Bone loss and osteoporosis.
  • Impotence and sexual dysfunction.
  • Chronic headaches.
  • Insomnia.
  • Diabetes.
  • Stroke.

In addition, sleep apnea has been blamed for a number of traffic accidents and on-the-job accidents, as OSA sufferers live with daytime sleepiness and fatigue, often paired with memory issues and concentration issues.

Ending the Sleep Apnea Epidemic

Another reason that sleep apnea has reached epidemic proportions is the lack of effective, convenient, and economic treatments. Although continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) therapy offer relief to many patients, compliance rates and satisfaction rates are alarmingly low.

At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we offer a sleep apnea surgical procedure with a 95 to 99 percent effectiveness rate, recommended by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.To learn more about our procedure, or to schedule a consultation at one of our surgery centers, please call us today: (855) 560-7378.

Sleep Apnea Surgery - PTSD - Surgical Sleep Solutions

Stop the Nightmares by Stopping Sleep Apnea

Veterans return from extremely stressful experiences, and are known to bring PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) home with them. And sleep apnea may be part of the problem. According to recent research, stopping sleep apnea may be a key factor in helping PTSD victims stop their nightmares and recover from their trauma.

Studies done on both returning veterans and sexually abused women have shown a very high incidence of sleep apnea in those that have PTSD. In fact, most of the studies found that over 50 percent had PTSD — much higher than the average population. Why patients with PTSD are more likely to have sleep apnea remains unknown at this time. However, the fact they do is undisputable.

Continuing on, regarding a study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine:

They studied 69 veterans with sleep apnea and PTSD for one year. The findings were very encouraging. Those veterans who were compliant with their sleep apnea treatment (continuous positive airway pressure treatment, or CPAP) exhibited a 50 percent drop in the number of nightmares they experienced per week. In fact, for every 10 percent increase in usage above the median, there was a further drop of about 10 percent in nightmare frequency. As expected, these veterans also reported feeling more rested and less fatigued.

Seems you can nip those nightmares by getting more quality sleep. Surgical Sleep Solutions can show you how.

Sleep Apnea - Hearing Loss - Surgical Sleep Solutions

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Linked to Hearing Issues

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been linked to a myriad of health issues, illnesses, and chronic medical concerns. Now, the list of medical problems that poor sleep doesn’t affect in a detrimental way is still shrinking. In a recent study conducted by doctors in New York, hearing loss has been linked to sleep apnea too.

A new study-led by Amit Chopra, MD, an expert in pulmonary medicine at the Albany Medical Center in New York, and presented at the American Thoracic Society’s 2014 International Conference found that sleep apnea is significantly associated with hearing loss at both high and low frequencies.

“Our findings suggest that sleep apnea is a systemic disease and is associated with increased risk of hearing loss, along with a number of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. I encourage people with sleep apnea to be educated and tested for hearing loss.”

Read the rest to find out more, including ten good reasons to have your hearing tested.

Contact Surgical Sleep Solutions & Stop Your Obstructive Sleep Apnea

If you are already fairly certain you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (or just want to know for sure), contact us now for a complimentary (and strictly confidential) initial consultation.

The Australian Sleep Apnea “Cure”

Here’s an interesting Australian sleep apnea “cure,” though it was devised in the USA: some OSA sufferers have begun practicing the didgeridoo in order to strengthen their palates, concentrate on their breathing, and possibly help treat their sleep disorders.

A group of Vermonters is ditching the doctor’s office and medicine to treat sleep apnea. People suffering from the disorder have found a new way to help their breathing and, in turn, help them sleep better.

This is not your average therapy session. Traditional medicine has given way to the didgeridoo, a 40,000-year-old instrument originating from Australia.

The class’ teacher, Pitz Quatttrone, reports that playing the famous instrument from Down Under helps relax the throat, while related breathing exercises generally improve player health. At the same time, a local naturopathic physician in the area reports that he has several sleep apnea patients who use the didgeridoo classes for OSA therapy.

Of course, the question still remains: can a didgeridoo cure sleep apnea? One study conducted in Switzerland by Milo A. Puhan and published by the British Medical Journal found that playing the didgeridoo significantly helped sleep apnea patients with the severity of their condition and with daytime drowsiness.

Sleep Apnea Solutions Through Surgery

If you aren’t sure you want to alleviate your sleep apnea by playing a four-foot wind instrument six days a week, you may wish to explore more proven sleep apnea treatments. Call Surgical Sleep Solutions at (855) 560-REST to learn more about how you may be able to cure your OSA without any daily therapies.