Category: snoring and apnea

How One Health System Sparked Thousands of Conversations About Sleep [Editor’s Message] 0

How One Health System Sparked Thousands of Conversations About Sleep [Editor’s Message]

By Sree Roy

A major challenge for the sleep medicine subspecialty is the huge number of people who are unaware that they have sleep apnea. Meanwhile, people with undiagnosed sleep apnea are frequently weighed down by the sleep disorder’s daytime symptoms and/or comorbidities, without realizing that efficacious treatments are available, if only they knew to seek them out. In the communities of central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, integrated health system WellSpan Health has made a sizable dent in the number of undiagnosed cases.

WellSpan sleep program director asked about creating an online screening tool for sleep apnea after taking a WellSpan-created risk assessment for breast cancer screening. “I reached out to marketing, and we moved forward from there,” says program director Tammy Sterner, RN, BSN, MEd, NE-BC. “A web designer internal to WellSpan developed the concept.”

Sterner hoped the health risk assessment would create public awareness, information, and demographic data, and most importantly provide people with a starting point to have conversations with their primary care physician (PCP) about sleep. Since May of 2019, 2,082 people have completed the online …

Sleep Disorders & Neurodegeneration in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients: Could Sleep Care Mitigate Risks? 0

Sleep Disorders & Neurodegeneration in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients: Could Sleep Care Mitigate Risks?

New research shows a correlation between poor sleep in TBI patients and elevated markers of neuronal injury.

By Lisa Spear

Could treating sleep disorders in traumatic brain injury patients lead to fewer cases of neurodegenerative disease down the road in this population? 

The answer to this question has not yet been determined, but new research shows that this hypothesis is worth exploring further. A recent abstract reveals elevated markers of neuronal injury and cognitive deficits accompanying sleep complaints and obstructive sleep apnea risk in veterans with traumatic brain injury. According to the authors, this possibly identifies treatable pathophysiological mediators for traumatic neurodegenerative progression, but further research is needed to confirm this theory. 

“If sleep is related, certainly that would be a good target for intervention to prevent progression,” says author neurologist and neuroscientist Kent Werner, MD, PhD.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) honored Werner for his work with the 2020 Trainee Investigator Award, which recognizes exceptional scientific discovery in the field of sleep medicine. 

“I do want to thank the AASM. I think they deserve recognition for …

Remote CPAP Mask Fittings Are Easier Now, Due to the Launch of New Technologies 0

Remote CPAP Mask Fittings Are Easier Now, Due to the Launch of New Technologies

How do you select an appropriate interface for a patient during the pandemic? Several innovative software options are available.

By Lisa Spear

Under normal circumstances, fitting a patient for a CPAP mask calls for an in-person visit. Measurements of the craniofacial anatomy are taken. A sleep tech or respiratory therapist (RT) asks a few questions. The process involves an investment in staffing, time, and a brick-and-mortar building. During these visits, staying at least 6 feet apart to minimize the risk of coronavirus spread is not always possible.

As SARS-CoV-2 took root across the country this spring and cases in the United States eclipsed other nations, more Americans opted to cancel or postpone non-emergency medical care, including visits to select CPAP masks. Home medical equipment (HME) storefronts shuttered, and suppliers scrambled to figure out a solution to continue to reach patients.

In the midst of all the chaos, some sleep medicine software developers innovated their way out of the problem—by developing technology to remotely recommend CPAP masks, without the need for sleep tech or RT in-person assistance. Philips Respironics launched its …

ResMed’s New App Preps Sleep Apnea Patients—Before They Begin Therapy 0

ResMed’s New App Preps Sleep Apnea Patients—Before They Begin Therapy

HelloSleep is available for free for iOS users. It’s a complementary aid to physicians and HMEs by reinforcing information about sleep apnea and using CPAP.

Forty to 80% of medical information provided by healthcare practitioners is forgotten immediately, according to one study. Sleep physicians and home medical equipment (HMEs) providers now have a new virtual tool to let patients take home some educational information via their smartphones.

ResMed has released HelloSleep, a free app for patients just diagnosed with sleep apnea. The goal of the app is to increase the number of diagnosed patients who successfully transition onto CPAP treatment. A 37-person survey conducted by ResMed found that 83% of app users said the information was easy to understand, 73% had a better understanding of sleep apnea, and 73% found that the info on success with CPAP equipment was useful. HelloSleep is available in English for for iOS users.

The app is intended as a complementary aid to physicians and HMEs by reinforcing key information about sleep apnea and using CPAP equipment.

Patients who know what to expect going …

How I Became a Sleep Navigator 0

How I Became a Sleep Navigator

Four patient navigators for sleep medicine explain their professional backgrounds, how they landed the (in most cases, newly created) role, and what they find rewarding in the position.

By Greg Thompson

Patient navigators are well-established in some medical fields, such as those who guide people through cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatments. In sleep medicine, navigators are new—and so are the career paths to the role. Denise Alexander, RRT; Leah Taylor; Carolyn Camerino, RRT-NPS; and Ken Hooks, RRT, RPSGT, share their stories.

Denise Alexander

The power of respiratory medicine revealed itself to Denise Alexander, RRT, in ways she did not expect. She left the corporate world to raise three sons, and all three had varying degrees of asthma, including one with comorbid obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Denise Alexander Sleep Navigator
Denise Alexander, RRT, is clinical sleep navigator, Northwestern Medicine McHenry and Huntley Hospital, Northwestern Medicine Sleep Services in Algonquin, Ill.

“My youngest son was hospitalized in the [pediatric intensive care unit] at three months with pertussis/whooping cough,” says Alexander, clinical sleep navigator, Northwestern Medicine McHenry and Huntley Hospital, Northwestern Medicine Sleep Services in Algonquin, …

Sleep Apnea in Middle Age Doubles Risk For Alzheimer’s 0

Sleep Apnea in Middle Age Doubles Risk For Alzheimer’s

Middle-aged people who have sleep apnea or who get 9 or more hours of sleep at night have more than double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) within about 6 years, new research suggests.

A UK Biobank study of more than 500,000 individuals also showed that excessive daytime sleepiness was associated with increased risk for AD.

Get the full story at medpage.com.

from Sleep Review https://www.sleepreviewmag.com/sleep-health/sleep-whole-body/brain/sleep-apnea-middle-age-doubles-risk-alzheimers/…

Low Respiratory Arousal Threshold in African Americans with OSA Offers Clues to CPAP Nonadherence 0

Low Respiratory Arousal Threshold in African Americans with OSA Offers Clues to CPAP Nonadherence

New data shows that over 60% of African American patients evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea have a low respiratory arousal threshold, compared to 30% to 50% in other populations.

By Lisa Spear

Research shows that African Americans have an increased prevalence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and a low rate of CPAP adherence. This population is also more likely to be aroused from sleep by a respiratory disturbance, which may contribute to sleep fragmentation, but not enough is known about the reason for these sleep problems.

“It’s something that is actually quite prevalent,” says internal medicine physician and researcher Onydika Moghalu, MD.

Moghalu and colleagues from Howard University Hospital in Washington DC recently published a new abstract looking at data from African American patients evaluated for OSA. The abstract, published in Neurology, shows that over 60% of African American patients evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea have a low respiratory arousal threshold, compared to 30% to 50% in populations examined in other studies.

A low respiratory arousal threshold is defined as arousal from sleep with a small increase …

What to Know About Sleeping Pills 0

What to Know About Sleeping Pills

Health discusses sleep aids, how they work, and how to take them safely.

One sleepless night does not warrant a sleeping pill prescription, and even those who suffer from acute insomnia may be better off exploring other options. “Sleeping pills are not the only treatment for insomnia, nor are they necessarily required,” Dr. Hilbert says. Additionally, trouble sleeping may be due to other sleep disorders (like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome), other medical or psychiatric disorders, medications taken for other problems, or poor sleep habits—and it’s important to seek medical help to get a handle on any undiagnosed conditions. “In many cases, treatment of the underlying condition, stopping a medication, or improving sleep habits may be all that is needed,” she says.

health.com

from Sleep Review https://www.sleepreviewmag.com/sleep-treatments/pharmaceuticals/what-do-know-about-sleeping-pills/…

4 Questions a Doctor Will Ask During Your Sleep Apnea Screening 0

4 Questions a Doctor Will Ask During Your Sleep Apnea Screening

To increase awareness surrounding the sleep apnea, Kingman P. Strohl, MD, author for Merck Manuals and Professor of Medicine at the Case School of Medicine, offered some insights for preparing for a conversation with your doctor. In a new editorial on MerckManuals.com, Strohl details questions your doctor is likely to ask during your appointment.

1. What are your sleep habits?

Understanding sleep apnea starts with understanding sleep. Despite spending about one third of our lives asleep, it’s not something most people understand or spend much time thinking about. Be prepared to talk to your doctor about your sleep habits, including how much sleep you get, your bedtime routine, what you do in the hours before you sleep, your caffeine intake, etc. Spend the week or two before your appointment tracking these factors, and use them as a jumping off point for an honest conversation about your sleep habits.

2. Do you have a family history of sleep apnea?

Many of the factors that contribute to sleep apnea tend to run in families, including a narrow throat, thick neck and …

Stanford Researchers Address Shrinking Jaws & Their Linked Sleep Issues 0

Stanford Researchers Address Shrinking Jaws & Their Linked Sleep Issues

The scientific community has largely deemed the underlying abnormality behind obstructive sleep apnea, jaw pain, and the pulling of wisdom teeth as problems that are hereditary and opt to deal with symptoms through medical devices and after-the-fact interventions.

But in a new study, Stanford researchers and colleagues argue that all these issues and more are actually relatively new problems afflicting modern humans and can be traced to a shrinking of our jaws. Moreover, they maintain that this “jaws epidemic” is not primarily genetic in origin, as previously thought, but rather a lifestyle disease. That means the epidemic is largely the result of human practices and akin to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.

The study—published in the journal BioScience—marshals the growing evidence from studies conducted around the world surrounding the jaws epidemic, as well as how to address it proactively. Parents and caregivers can take steps to promote proper mouth, jawbone, and facial musculature development in children, the study advises, to help stave off future health burdens and chronic conditions.

“The jaws epidemic is very serious, …