how to find a sleep specialist

Video FAQ – How To Find a Sleep Specialist?

If you suspect that you are suffering from a sleep disorder, it's important that you consult with a board certified sleep disorders specialist at an accredited sleep center. There are three excellent websites available to help you with this search …

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how is sleep apnea treated

Video FAQ – How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

There are a variety of treatments available for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Weight loss is always encouraged for those patients who are overweight. In this fourth FAQ video in our series, Dr. Popper discusses several available treatment options for patients suffering from OSA. This series is designed to address frequently asked questions regarding obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

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how is sleep apnea diagnosed

Video FAQ – How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

The first step in the diagnosis of sleep apnea is to obtain a thorough history and physical examination with concentration on sleep related symptoms, which can be performed by your primary care physician or a board-certified sleep medicine specialist.

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what causes sleep apnea

Video FAQ – What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Upper airway tissue obstruction can occur from a deviated nasal septum, which is the cartilage that runs up and down the middle of the nose, or from enlargement or hypertrophy of the turbinates, which are these ridges that occur within the nose. Some patients will have a droopy soft palate, which is the structure in the back of the throat.

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what is sleep apnea

Video FAQ – What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a disorder manifest by snoring and holding of the breath. Patients are often unaware of the breath hold. They often will awaken with a snort, a gasp, or a grunt or choking sensation. They still may not be aware of this and these may only be brought to their attention by a bed mate or spouse.

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New Treatments For Snoring

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Theravent May Be The Solution For Many

Theravent is a disposable nightly snoring device that is FDA approved to reduce or eliminate snoring. It has been proven to reduce snoring in separate clinical studies and is available without a prescription. On average, successful Theravent users reduced snoring by 76%, as measured using a decibel meter worn on the forehead. Theravent uses the same patented MicroValve Technology that was previously only available with a prescription.

Lisa Sigell of CBS2 news returned to Southern California Pulmonary and Sleep Disorders Medical Center for a second interview with me. This time the subject was severe and chronic snoring. Snoring is seen as a comical issue to many people, but it can disrupt a family's rest and lead to more serious health problems. Snoring itself may be an indication of an already existing health issue that needs medical attention. I discussed some new treatments with Lisa.

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Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep #7

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Narcolepsy Symptoms and Treatments

Today I’d like to talk to you about a sleep disorder called narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is manifest by a symptom complex consisting of excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep hallucinations and sleep paralysis. All of these symptoms do not need to be present to make a diagnosis of narcolepsy, but when excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy are present the diagnosis can be made clinically. In the absence of cataplexy a sleep study and another type of study called a multiple sleep latency test are required to confirm the diagnosis.

So what is narcolepsy? Let’s look at the components of narcolepsy. Daytime sleepiness can be found in many disorders such as sleep apnea, periodic limb movements during sleep, shift work, it could be the result of medication or other medical disorders so daytime sleepiness by itself is not a sufficient symptom to make a diagnosis of narcolepsy.

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Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep #6

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Treatments for Restless Leg – Restless Limb Syndrome

In this session, I'd like to discuss some of the treatment options for restless limb syndrome. The primary treatment class of medications for this are known as dopamine agonists. This is a class of medication used primarily for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. When using these medications for the treatment of Restless Limb Syndrome we use them in a much smaller dose than we would use for Parkinson's Disease and therefore the potential side-effects are much less

The most common drugs within this classification are Mirapex or pramipexole and ropinirole or Requip. The most common side-effects that occur when using these medications include headache or nausea, increased sleepiness or fatigue, and some patients feel drugged or have difficulties upon rising the next morning. There's a black box warning that talks about a very uncommon side-effect which is sudden uncontrollable sleep attacks. This is almost never seen in patients with Restless Limb Syndrome and has primarily occurred in patients with Parkinson's Disease who are taking vastly larger doses of this medication than patients with Restless Limb Syndrome would ever take.

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OSA and the National Football League

The NFL Raises Public Awareness About OSA

Obesity has long been associated with an increased risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Neck circumference guidelines (greater 17 inches for men and 16 inches for women) as a risk factor for OSA came out of several studies on NFL players. The University of Connecticut reported that the increase in body mass in football players since the 1970’s has occurred primarily in offensive and defensive linemen.

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New Drug Offers Hope for Insomnia Patients

Suvorexant – Experimental Drug for Insomnia

Preliminary reports on Merck’s experimental sleep drug Suvorexant indicate it helps insomniacs fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Suvorexant works differently from other sleeping pills. Current sleep medications work on brain receptors that increase sleepiness.

Suvorexant inhibits Orexin, a hormone that acts on the brain to increase wakefulness. Brain levels of Orexin are naturally lower during the night. An additional interesting use for Suvorexant is that it might be particularly helpful for shift workers, who need to sleep during the day when Orexin levels are high.  Merck is hoping to receive FDA approval for Suvorexant in the Summer of 2013.

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