Oral appliances and apparatus have been in existence in one way or another since 1923 when a dental surgeon and physician named Pierre Robin found that babies with micrognathia and posteriorly placed tongue (glossoptosis) not only had difficulty with feeding, but also had issues with breathing in general.1 It was from these observations, and the previous work of Lannelongue and Menard in 1891,1 that Robin subsequently published the first case of an infant with the complete Pierre Robin Syndrome (PRS) (sequence) in 1926.2 The idea of posteriorly positioned tongues and lower jaws narrowing the pharyngeal airway in general, outside of PRS, was to be further postulated for the next 30 years and a generation of dental academics.
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the most commonly prescribed device for treating sleep apnea and associated sleep-related breathing disorders, delivering a steady flow of pressurized air into a patient's nose and mouth as they sleep. This keeps airways open and helps normalize breathing. Recent research has shown that patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) exhibited improvements in sleepiness and depressive and anxiety symptoms after three years of CPAP use. Another study found that patients with OSA and a history of cardiovascular disease treated with CPAP therapy reported 20% higher levels of moderate physical activity compared with non-CPAP users, with these patients also more likely to exercise at levels meeting clinical recommendations.
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As sleep professionals, we know the importance of using a CPAP device to keep our patients’ breathing consistent while they sleep. For patients with compliance difficulties, CPAP group education might be a viable option. Evidence shows improving CPAP adherence with education in a peer-to-peer environment is an effective way to engage patients. These CPAP support groups and CPAP group discussions can be extremely beneficial for both the patient and the sleep technologist.
It’s finals week here at Cal State Long Beach, and we’re in the process of adopting a new mascot. I voted for the giraffe, a regal and noble animal with attractive coloring and a long tongue, but it came in dead last behind the pelican. The pelican? Seriously? The one with the big bag for carrying fish in its beak? The overwhelming winner was the shark; we have a world-famous shark research program here. But shark mascots are everywhere, and they all look like the “Saturday Night Live” land shark from years ago. And they have so many teeth. But I digress.
Every sleep professional knows that getting the right equipment (and getting it to work right) is crucial for any patient. Sometimes the companies that make durable medical equipment (or DMEs) are extremely helpful when working with patients, while others are not. We asked some of our members to explain their relationship working with DMEs, for better or for worse.
Sleep problems can predispose individuals to many medical conditions. Conversely, medical disorders can lead to sleep disturbance. In fact, sleep disturbance represents one of the most challenging, yet exceptionally common problems faced in the primary care practice today.
As we are now into 2018, there are exciting things in store for members of AAST across the board! From programs to education to events, there will be many tools and resources at the disposal of sleep professionals going forward. We caught up with the six chairs of the various AAST committees and asked them to describe what members should be most looking forward to in the year ahead with regards to their respective committees. Here is what they told us:
Lately, the news has not been great for CPAP users and the sleep centers that care for them. The USPSTF recommended against screening of asymptomatic patients and, in doing so, threw some major shade on the use of CPAP.
Ah… Sleep Medicine Is this a great field or what? Caution-this particular blog will provide more questions than answers... I am counting on you to fill in some of the blanks.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy for Sleep Apnea What is CPAP? CPAP, the abbreviation for continuous positive airway pressure therapy, is a treatment method for patients who have sleep apnea. CPAP machines use mild air pressure to keep the airways open, and are typically used by patients who have breathing problems during sleep. More specifically, what CPAP therapy helps accomplish is making sure that your airway doesn't collapse when you breathe while asleep.