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A Guide To Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which people experience shallow breathing or pauses in breathing during their sleep. African-Americans with moderate or severe sleep apnea are twice as likely to have hard-to-control high blood pressure when their sleep apnea goes untreated, according to a new study funded mainly by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
A study in the October issue of Anesthesiology shows that diagnosing ENT doctor and prescribing CPAP therapy prior to surgery significantly reduced postoperative cardiovascular complications - specifically cardiac arrest and shock - by more than half.

Ln the meantime, Twery said, the more familiar people become with the symptoms and dangers of sleep apnea—and what they can do to help minimize their risks—the better off they likely will be. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 50-75 percent of adults with symptoms of sleep apnea have not discussed their condition with a physician.
CPAP has not only been shown to improve quality-of-life and sleep indices in patients with OSA, but also to lower blood pressure and rates of arrhythmia and stroke, to improve left ventricular ejection fraction in patients with heart failure, and to improve the rates of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events.

The Food and Drug Administration ensures the safety and effectiveness of medical devices, including the device most often used by those affected by OSA - the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, commonly known as CPAP - and a new device, the Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) System.
The effectiveness of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is debatable, but that is likely because it does not alter enough upper airway soft tissue anatomy ( 19 ). Maxillomandibular surgery that affects a greater proportion of the upper airway has been shown to have a high success rate in patients with sleep apnea ( 20 ).

Some possible tests include an echocardiogram to look at the structure and function of the heart to evaluate for heart failure and other health problems; an electrocardiogram (EKG) to scan for irregular heartbeat such as atrial fibrillation ; or arterial blood gases to measure levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood.

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