sleep apnea and pregnancy correlation

Study: Diabetes & Preeclampsia Linked To Sleep Apnea In Pregnant Women

A new study has found that women who suffer from sleep apnea during pregnancy are more likely to develop gestational diabetes, hypertension, and preeclampsia–three medical conditions that can be dangerous for both the mother and the unborn baby if not properly treated.

While researchers are sure that the existence of sleep apnea significantly increases the chances of these three ailments, they are not sure how the diseases are connected and whether sleep apnea directly causes high blood pressure or diabetes.

A Closer Look At The Pregnancy & Sleep Apnea Study

The study, which was conducted by lead study author Dr. Francesca Facco of the University of Pittsburgh’s Magee-Women’s Hospital, and which appeared in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, followed 3,000 women through their pregnancies, giving them home sleep tests twice–once during early pregnancy and once during late pregnancy.

The study found that women who showed signs of moderate to severe sleep apnea were 3.5 times more likely to develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancy, 75 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure, and almost twice as likely to suffer from preeclampsia.

The study also found that sleep apnea can become worse over the course of pregnancy, as women gain weight, have more pressure on their chests, and have changes to their body chemistry. Women who showed signs of sleep apnea earlier in their pregnancy were even more likely to develop complications with high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea & Pregnancy Complications

After concluding the study, scientists are more sure than ever about a connection between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and pregnancy complications like diabetes and preeclampsia. However, they stressed that the connections are not necessarily causal.

“Although we found an association with sleep disordered breathing preceding the development of both pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders and gestational diabetes, we cannot conclude that universal screening for, and treatment of sleep disordered breathing in pregnancy would reduce the risks of these adverse outcomes,” said Facco, regarding the connection between sleep apnea and pregnancy complications.

In other words, it is not clear that the sleep apnea causes the problems, or that treating the sleep apnea would help to lower the chances of developing the problems. However, many medical professionals agree that obesity has been clearly linked with the development of sleep apnea as well as the risk of preeclampsia, high blood pressure, and diabetes. beginning pregnancy at a healthy weight and gaining an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy may be two ways to lower the chance of a dangerous complication.

Surgical Sleep Solutions For Sleep Apnea

While sleep apnea surgery is not appropriate for women who are pregnant, surgery to treat OSA may be an ideal option for women who have the sleep disorder who are planning to become pregnant or for women who are looking for a solution after having a baby. To learn more about sleep apnea treatment options, please contact us today by calling 855-560-7378 or by filling out our form below.

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sleep apnea and overactive bladders

Overactive Bladder Linked To Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been linked with a large range of other health issues, including cancer, heart disease, and stroke. In addition to these serious ailments, though, research scientists are now also finding that OSA goes hand-in-hand with a number of urological conditions as well, including erectile dysfunction, urgency, and nocturia. In the past few years, two distinct studies, one focused on men and the other focused on women, have also found that sleep apnea is linked with overactive bladder (OAB).

Overactive Bladder & Sleep Apnea: The Studies

The first sleep apnea and overactive bladder study took place in 2009 and was published in the scientific journal Sleep. In the study, researchers questioned 100 men who showed signs of sleep apnea and underwent full-night polysomnography for OSA diagnosis. The men were then asked to fill out three questionnaires regarding bladder issues, including the overactive bladder symptom score (OABSS), the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire (ICIQ), and the International Prostate Symptoms Score (IPSS).

The study found that the men who were ultimately diagnosed with OSA were more likely to show symptoms of overactive bladder and urgency incontinence than those who were not diagnosed with OSA. In addition, those who had moderate to severe OSA had a higher chance of bladder issues than those who had only mild OSA.

The second study took place in 2012 in Barcelona, Spain, and focused on women with overactive bladders. The  sleep apnea study, which was presented at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Vienna, focused on 72 women who visited a sleep clinic with suspected signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apena. The women were questioned on the top symptoms of overactive bladder:

  • Urgency
  • Frequency of urination
  • Incontinence and
  • Nocturia

The results of the questionnaire and study found that the 62 women who were ultimately diagnosed with sleep apnea were significantly more likely to show signs of overactive bladder than the women who were not diagnosed with sleep apnea.

What We Know Now About OAB & OSA

Even though both of the above studies secured similar results about the relationship between overactive bladder and sleep apnea, researchers still do not know how overactive bladder and OSA are related or which one might influence the other. However, scientists say that the studies have clinical implications: when a patient is diagnosed with OSA, he or she should be screened by a doctor to look for signs of OAB so that that health condition can also be treated.

Relief From Sleep Apnea Symptoms At Surgical Sleep Solutions

Both obstructive sleep apnea and overactive bladder can affect all facets of your life, from how you sleep at night to how you function during the day to how you interact with others. At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we want to give you your life back. We are committed to treating OSA through an effective, efficient surgery–and helping patients move on from CPAP therapy for good. To learn more about our services, or to speak to a doctor, please call us today at (855) 560-7378 or fill out our quick contact form.

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CPAP Doesn’t Help Daytime Sleepiness Issues For Some OSA Patients

A sleep apnea study conducted at the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil has found that some obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients who use continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) devices still suffer from daytime sleepiness issues as well as the problems that come from daytime fatigue. The study looked deeply into how the brains of patients functioned when they were consistently adhering to CPAP therapy, depending on whether or not they reported residual excessive sleepiness (RES) after treatment.

Past studies have shown that between six and 34 percent of sleep apnea patients who use CPAP therapy still report issues with daytime drowsiness and fatigue.

Taking A Closer Look

The sleep apnea study, “Neurocognitive function in patients with residual excessive sleepiness from obstructive sleep apnea,” was published in October 2016 in the journal, Sleep Medicine. In the study, researchers took a close look at two groups of 15 patients with OSA: 15 people who reported residual excess sleepiness after CPAP treatment and 15 people who did not report RES after CPAP treatment. All of the patients were 35-60 years old and were of both sexes. All of the patients used CPAP consistently and for a significant amount of time each night.

The study found that those who reported residual excess sleepiness had lower verbal fluency and lower executive functioning, in relation to issues like paying attention and managing time. Those with RES also were more likely to suffer from depression or have signs of depression.

“These individuals do not respond to treatment, and eventually will drop CPAP because they do not feel better,” said lead study author Ksdy Werli, speaking of the patients who still feel drowsy during the day even with OSA treatment. “We chose to study this issue aiming to understand the real difficulties of these patients.”

It is still unclear why some patients still suffer from daytime sleepiness when being treated for sleep apnea, although it seems clear that the issue of daytime sleepiness is a serious one.

The Problem of Daytime Sleepiness

While sleep apnea’s largest consequences include obesity, heart health, and mental health, excessive daytime sleepiness can be an extremely large problem that deeply affects the health and safety of patients. Daytime sleepiness can lead to:

  • Car accidents and accidents at work.
  • Compromised work performance.
  • Poorer general health.
  • Issues with memory.
  • Issues with executive functioning.
  • Issues with depression and anxiety.
  • Impaired judgement.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Lowered quality of life.

Because of these risks and issues, it is very important that all sleep apnea sufferers are treated for all aspects of their OSA.

Surgical Sleep Solutions For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

While it is not clear why a significant percentage of patients still suffer from daytime sleepiness despite the careful use of a CPAP device, those who do suffer from RES and use CPAP may consider an alternative treatment in order to secure better results. At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we use an innovative bimaxillary advancement procedure to open the airway and cure more than 95 percent of our patients. To learn more about our surgical options, or to schedule a consultation, please call us today at (855) 560-7378 or contact us below to learn more.

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sleep apnea safety regulations - trains

NJ Transit Pulls 12 Workers Over Sleep Apnea Signs

New Jersey Transit has pulled 12 different railroad and train workers from their jobs after they exhibited sleep apnea signs during routine medical screenings. This move comes after a decision by the transportation company to better diagnose and treat sleep apnea in its workers following a deadly train accident this fall.

According to New Jersey Online, six engineers, five conductors and one signal maintainer have been taken out of service without pay since October, all because they exhibited sleep apnea signs, which may include fatigue, daytime drowsiness, and snoring. Three of the workers have since returned to the job after seeking a positive diagnosis during a sleep study and an effective treatment.

A History of Sleep Apnea related Transportation Accidents

New Jersey Transit decided to add these new screening regulations after a fatal train crash in Hoboken, New Jersey on September 29. In the early-morning incident, 48-year-old Thomas Gallagher was the engineer in charge of the train when it sped into the station at twice the posted speed limit. The train struck the platform, injuring over 100 people and killing one person who was waiting for the train.

After the accident, Gallagher claimed he didn’t remember anything from the incident except waking up on the floor of the wrecked train. After the accident, he was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea.

In 2013, a speeding Metro-North Railroad train derailed on a curve while in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring 70 more. The engineer in that case was also found to have suffered from severe sleep apnea. He fell asleep at the controls, causing the crash.

New Sleep Apnea Regulations In Place After Deadly Train Crashes

The new NJ Tranist sleep apnea screenings and regulations were put in place almost immediately after the Hoboken accident. However, just weeks ago, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) released a safety advisory strongly recommending that train companies screen their employees for OSA in order to prevent accidents. The FRA is currently working on official regulations regarding sleep apnea and certain train employees, but getting new laws in place could take years.

Other transportation organizations, such as organizations that deal with pilots and commercial drivers,  have also been struggling with instating new regulations regarding screening and treating employees with sleep apnea. Regulations have been difficult because of issues related to how organizations should screen, how treatment should be handled, and what should happen to employees who have recently been diagnosed with OSA.

Sleep Apnea Surgery At Surgical Sleep Solutions

At Surgical Sleep solutions, we understand what a challenge it is to make our public transportation safer while protecting transportation workers, drivers, pilots, and engineers. We look forward to working with transportation workers as well as transportation companies in an effort to make certain that employees are quickly and efficiently given a quick diagnosis and the right treatment for them. To learn more about our services, or to talk to our team to help guide you in finding the right solution for you, please contact us today or call (855) 560-7378 or request more information below.

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sleep apnea safety regulations - trains

Federal Railroad Administration Issues Sleep Apnea Safety Advisory

On Friday, December 2,, 2016, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a safety advisory calling for all passenger train engineers to be screened and treated for sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that can cause daytime drowsiness, concentration issues, memory problems, fatigue, and confusion.

CBS News reported that the safety advisory came after a deadly passenger train accident in Hoboken, New Jersey, injured dozens and killed a woman standing on a train platform on September 29.

The safety advisory urged all railroad to:

  • Screen and treat all train engineers for sleep apnea.
  • Install cameras train cabs to record engineers’ actions before and during crashes.
  • Take steps to make certain that conductors follow speed limits, particularly in places where high speeds could harm passengers and those on platforms.
  • Review passenger train speed data for violations and modify train control and signaling systems.

Many train companies already screen and test their engineers for sleep apnea. However, many believe more can be done to prevent these train accidents. For example, federal groups are currently considering official guidelines regarding sleep apnea screening as well as laws that would require train and track mechanisms that would prevent speeding altogether. These controls would identify and stop speeding trains before an accident occurred.

New Jersey Transit Accident Leads To Sleep Apnea Safety Advisory

The FRA safety advisory was issues shortly after the conductor of the recent New Jersey train crash suffered from severe, undiagnosed sleep apenea. The 48-year-old train engineer, Thomas Gallagher, reported to officials that he woke up the morning of the crash feeling rested, but then does not remember anything prior to the crash–only waking up on the floor of the train after the collision. A week after the accident, a doctor diagnosed him with severe sleep apnea.

The crash took place during the morning commute into New York City, when the train was approaching the Hoboken terminal. The train was going about 20 miles per hour, double the speed limit in that area.

A History Of Sleep Apnea Train Accidents

This is not the first time that a train conductor has been diagnosed with sleep apnea after a serious accident. In 2013, a Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx after speeding into a curve at 82 miles per hour. The engineer, who was later diagnosed with sleep apnea, had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Surgical Sleep Solutions

At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we are dedicated to helping spread awareness about sleep apnea and to helping those suffering from sleep apnea find the treatment that is most effective for their health and their life. We know that changing federal regulations will impact the transportation industry as well as its employees, and we are hopeful that the general safety of public transportation increases as the health of drivers and conductors improves.

To learn more about what we do, including our surgical treatment for sleep apnea, please call us today at (855) 560-7378 or fill out our quick electronic contact form.

obstructive sleep apnea - surgical sleep solutions

Sleep Apnea In Patients of Normal Weights: Diagnosis and Treatment

It is a dangerous misconception that only overweight or obese people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In fact, a new study has found that 52 percent of those with sleep apnea had a body mass index of below 30 (the benchmark for obesity), while a further half of those patients had normal weights.

The same study, which was conducted at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Australia, found that thinner patients suffering from sleep apnea required a different approach to treatment than overweight and obese patients.

It is vital for both those with OSA and the general public to understand that sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, of both sexes, of all ethnicities, and of all sizes. Sleep apnea patients of normal weight, in fact, may need special considerations when being diagnosed and treated.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at what it is like to have obstructive sleep apnea for those who are not overweight or obese.

Getting Diagnosed With OSA Is More Difficult When Not Overweight

The misconception that all or most people with sleep apnea are obese goes beyond those in the general public. In truth, doctors and medical professionals may neglect to see the common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea in patients who are not overweight. Furthermore, they may not order diagnostic tests or sleep studies for those who do not fit the stereotypical profile of a sleep apnea sufferer.
For this reason, it is vital for everyone to be familiar with the red flags of sleep apnea:

  • Episodes of not breathing while sleeping.
  • Loud breathing while sleeping.
  • Breathing through the mouth while sleeping.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Waking up not feeling rested.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Mood swings.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Dry throat.

Talk to your doctor if you are displaying these symptoms, or if your partner has voiced concerns about your nighttime snoring and breathing.

Start by taking our online sleep evaluation.

CPAP Therapy Is Less Effective For Thinner Patients

The aforementioned study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine this fall, not only found that the majority of those with sleep apnea are not obese, it also found that normal-weighted and overweight patients respond differently to traditional sleep apnea treatments than those who have a BMI above 30.

Specifically, the study found that of the 163 participants, those who were not obese were significantly more likely to have an adverse reaction to continuous positive air pressure (CPAP), or to not comply with CPAP usage. While researchers are still unsure of why those of lower weights had more difficulty with compliance, they believe that this new information could help people of all sizes find the right sleep apnea treatment for their needs.

Surgical Sleep Apnea Solutions

At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we understand that sleep apnea patients come in all sizes and from all backgrounds, including patients of normal weights. We also know that bimaxillary advancement surgery may be an excellent choice for those with OSA who are in good health, at a healthy weight, and who may struggle with CPAP usage. To learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment with a physician, please contact us today.

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hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea & Resistant Hypertension Go Hand-In-Hand

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost one out of three Americans suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension) and over half of those diagnosed with the disease have it under control. An estimated 20 to 30 percent of those with high blood pressure suffer from resistant hypertension, a condition in which it takes multiple medications to control their blood pressure. Resistant hypertension is most common among the elderly and the obese.

Resistant hypertension can lead to a number of serious and deadly health events, including heart attack and stroke.

There is a growing body of evidence that resistant hypertension is closely connected with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In fact, one study (discussed below) has found that close to three out of four people with resistant high blood pressure suffer from OSA.

Sleep Apnea & High Blood Pressure: The Evidence

  • A review article recently published in Chest found that an estimated 30 to 50 percent of people with hypertension also have obstructive sleep apnea.
  • A similar study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those with moderate to severe sleep apnea were more than twice as likely to have high blood pressure than those with no symptoms of sleep apnea. This study followed over 6,000 Americans over 40 and corrected for weight, which is correlated with both OSA and hypertension.
  • A sleep apnea study conducted at the Polytechnic University Hospital in Valencia and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that treating sleep apnea for just 12 weeks significantly lowered the blood pressure of those with resistant hypertension (defined as those taking three or more blood pressure medications). Specifically, 36 percent of the 194 participants saw their blood pressure drop by 10 percent while being treated for OSA.

Why Is Sleep Apnea Correlated With Hypertension?

The relationship between OSA and hypertension is a complex one – and one that is not fully understood by scientists, researchers, and physicians. What we do know is that those with hypertension are more likely to have sleep apnea and that those with sleep apnea are more likely to have hypertension. This co-morbidity are likely connected with body mass index and obesity, while another part is likely connected with a patient’s lack of oxygen at night. Those with disordered sleep do not see a natural drop in blood pressure at night like other people – and this issue may lead to chronic hypertension.

Get Your Sleep Apnea Treated & Improve Your Overall Health

At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we continue to be amazed at how treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) improves our patients’ health on every level. Not only do they get a better night’s sleep, many also see improvements in the weight, heart health, blood pressure, and mental health. If you are interested in learning more about how you can treat your sleep apnea through surgery, please call us today at 855-560-7378 or fill out our short contact form below for more information.

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sleep apnea and melanoma - surgical sleep solutions

Study: Untreated Sleep Apnea Connected With More Aggressive Melanoma

Although sleep apnea and other types of disordered sleep have been connected to cancer in the past, for the first time ever, research scientists have found a correlation between a specific type of cancer–malignant cutaneous melanoma–and cancer aggressiveness. Specifically, researchers have found that those with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) suffered from more aggressive melanoma than those without sleep apnea or those with consistently treated sleep apnea.

Untreated Sleep Apnea & Aggressive Melanoma: The Study

The study, which was presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference in May of this year, involved 412 people who had been diagnosed with malignant cutaneous melanoma. The patients, who were located among 24 teaching hospitals that are part of the Spanish Sleep and Breathing Network, all underwent a sleep study to determine which had untreated OSA. Those with OSA that had been treated in the past were excluded. Then each patient’s cancer case was followed closely to determine the stage of the cancer, the cancer’s growth, and the cancer’s aggressiveness.

The study found that, generally, the more severe a patient’s sleep apnea, the more aggressive their cancer. This trend help true even when researchers corrected for the patients’ age, sex, body mass index (BMI), skin type, sun exposure history, and other risk factors for melanoma.

Sleep Apnea & Cancer Prognosis: What We Know Now

What can this study teach us about sleep apnea and cancer? And how can we use the information learned in this study to help both OSA patients and patents diagnosed with melanoma?

“While more research is needed, this study shows that patients in the study had markers of poor prognosis for their melanoma. It also highlights the importance of diagnosing and treating sleep apnea,” said lead author Miguel Ángel Martinez-Garcia, MD, PhD, from the Hospital Universitario y Politécnico La Fe, Valencia, Spain. “Based on our study, it seems a relationship between sleep apnea and cancer may also exist. It is very important, however, that people with sleep apnea do not infer that they will necessarily develop cancer.”

In addition to adding even more importance to all obstructive sleep apnea patients being diagnosed with OSA, the lead author also states that the study should also encourage all doctors look for signs of sleep apnea in patients, and for oncologists to ask their melanoma patients about the symptoms of disordered sleep.

“Our findings have implications for both patients and physicians,” Dr. Martinez-Garcia added. “People who snore, frequently wake up at night or have daytime sleepiness should see a sleep specialist, especially if they have other risk factors for cancer or already have cancer. Physicians–especially dermatologists, cancer surgeons and medical oncologists–should ask their patients about potential sleep apnea symptoms, and refer them for a sleep study if they have these symptoms.”

Sleep Apnea Surgery At Surgical Sleep Solutions

Far too many people suffering from sleep apnea have difficulty consistently treating their symptoms with CPAP therapy, while for others, CPAP therapy is not effective. Because of the growing evidence connecting OSA with other serious health problems, including cancer, it is more important than ever that those with OSA find treatments that work for them. At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we are dedicated to helping treat OSA through bimaxillary advancement surgery. To learn more about what we do, or to schedule a consultation, please call us today: (855) 560-7378.

Alternatives to CPAP. Obstructive sleep apnea surgery - Surgical Sleep Solutions.

Sleep Apnea Study: CPAP Therapy Does Not Cut Heart Attack Or Stroke Risk

For many years, doctors have been telling patients that using their continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) devices will successfully treat their sleep apnea symptoms and lower their risk for dangerous sleep apnea-related health conditions. However, a new sleep apnea study published by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has found that although typical CPAP usage can help sleep apnea patients feel less tired during the day and get better rest, it may not cut the risk of heart attacks, cardiovascular emergencies, or stroke.

Does CPAP Therapy Cut Your Risk Of Heart Attacks?

The new study, called “CPAP for Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Obstructive Sleep Apnea,” was published on August 28, 2016, and conducted by the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health of Flinders University of South Australia and the George Institute for Global Health. It asked a simple question: do those using CPAP devices have a lower risk of cardiovascular events than those who do not treat their obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with CPAP?

The study examined over 2,700 patients from around the world who had a history of cardiovascular disease as well as moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. The patients, who were located in 89 clinic in seven countries, were between the ages of 45 and 75 and 81 percent male. Some people were barred from participating, including:

  • Those who still suffered from excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Those who were considered to have higher risk of a fatigue-related accident during the day.
  • Those with severe hypoxemia (significant oxygen drops during sleep testing).
  • Those with significant congestive heart failure.
  • Those who used their CPAP machine less than three hours per night on average.

After the group was split into two–those who used CPAP and those who underwent usual care (lifestyle changes and education)–initial data were collected. The study followed up with the patients at six months, two years, and four years. At each of these assessments, the patients took a number of surveys and were examined for general health and heart health. Specifically, the researchers tracked:

  • Death from any cardiovascular cause
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Stroke
  • Hospitalization for heart failure
  • Acute coronary syndrome (including unstable angina)
  • Transient ischemic attack.
  • Revascularization procedures
  • New onset atrial fibrillation
  • New-onset diabetes

The study found that although those using the CPAP device cut the severity of their sleep apnea significantly, the group did not have fewer cardiovascular events than those not using the CPAP therapy. Specifically, 17 percent of patients who used CPAP therapy suffered a serious heart event over four years while 15.4 percent of patients who did not use CPAP therapy suffered a serious heart event over the same time period.

At this point, researchers do not know why CPAP can improve some effects of sleep apnea while not improving others. Further research will have to take place–and OSA sufferers concerned about their heart health may wish to seek alternate means of treatment for their sleep condition.

A Surgical Solution To Sleep Apnea

While CPAP therapy is a workable solution for many patients who struggle with obstructive sleep apnea, others find the treatment lacking: it can be difficult to use without side effects, it can be difficult to use consistently, and it can make you life more complex. At the same time, studies like the one above suggest that while CPAP can treat some symptoms of OSA effectively, it may not be addressing other serious health concerns that have been linked to sleep apnea.

At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we offer an innovative, effective surgical sleep apnea treatment called bimaxillary advancement surgery. This treatment, which eliminates the symptoms of sleep apnea in over 95 percent of our patients, moves the jaw forward, increasing the airway and decreasing obstructions. To learn more about this surgery, or to talk to one of our physicians, please contact us today: (855) 560-7378.

complex sleep apnea - surgical sleep solutions california and montana

Understanding Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Most people with sleep disorders are familiar with the two major types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). However, in 2006 the Mayo Clinic discovered a third type of sleep apnea that combines OSA and CSA. This new sleep disorder was coined complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as mixed sleep apnea or treatment-emergent sleep apnea.

What is Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome?

The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, in which a person has difficulty breathing regularly at night due to an obstruction in the airway. Obstructive sleep apnea can be treated in a variety of ways, including lifestyle changes, positional therapy, oral devices, continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) devices, and sleep apnea surgery.

The second most common form of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea, in which a person has difficulty breathing because of a neurological issue unrelated to their airway. While the symptoms of CSA are the same as OSA, the causes are different and include: Parkinson’s disease, certain medications, and heart disease.

Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. It is often discovered after a patient’s OSA is treated (either through CPAP or surgery) when symptoms of sleep apnea remain even after the airway is cleared. While some patients may simply have both common types of the disease, some doctors believe that complex sleep apnea only emerges after OSA is treated. A Mayo Clinic study found that an estimated 15 percent of OSA patients actually suffer from some form of complex sleep apnea.

How Is Complex Sleep Apnea Treated?

Because complex sleep apnea syndrome is not deeply understood, the treatment strategies are not well defined and often vary widely depending on the individual patient and his or her circumstances.

If the patient suffers from OSA because of an obstructed airway and suffers from central sleep apnea because of Parkinson’s disease, for example, treatment would involve both treating the OSA issues and the Parkinson’s issues separately. On the other hand, if central sleep apnea symptoms are emerging when a patient’s OSA is being treated, treatment may look very different and could include a different pressure setting on the CPAP machine, lifestyle changes, or medication.

Complex Sleep Apnea Treatment At Surgical Sleep Solutions

At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we believe that we cannot find our patients the best treatment options until they receive an accurate diagnosis. From that point, we can begin to explore the options that are best for your diagnosis, your medical history, and the severity of your sleep disorder. To schedule a consultation with one of our physicians, please call us today at (855) 560-7378 or fill out our quick contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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