Would you rather wear positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy each night or take a pill before bed? For most, it would seem they would love to choose the latter option as PAP machines can be viewed as burdensome. Wearing a mask to bed has long been an issue for many sleep apnea sufferers who are seeking a better night of sleep. As sleep apnea treatment continues to evolve, there is a growing population of patients interested in taking a pill before bed and not worrying about wearing a mask throughout the night. However, is it worth throwing out the mask and taking the chance that a pill can be as effective as the tried-and-true PAP machine?
Many studies have been done to assess the North American population for the presence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). These studies have shown that up to 80% of all patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea have not yet been diagnosed.1 With the population aging and obesity on the rise, we are not making a dent into this statistic, despite the growing awareness and the advancements in home sleep testing.
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Ischemic stroke (or acute stroke) is the second leading cause of long-term disability. Many who suffer from ischemic stroke also have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Currently, ischemic stroke treatment therapies have a very limited therapeutic window and are not widely applicable to most patients. The treatment of OSA in patients with acute ischemic stroke is now being looked to as a novel, therapeutic approach to preventing stroke.
Scientists have long noted that a large neck circumference and retrognathia (i.e., receding chin) are risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The former can be determined with a simple tape measure. The latter can be measured on x-ray images (i.e., radiographs). Scientists have recently demonstrated that three-dimensional (3D) facial scanning may detect more subtle features of the head such as width and length of the lower jaw, width of the face, and distance between the eyes that could be used to identify people who may be at risk of sleep apnea. This technology could potentially be used to more accurately detect people who may be at risk of having OSA.
This blog is based off of the AAST 2019 Annual Meeting Session "Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Stroke: Evidence, Mechanisms, and Treatment Strategies." For more information on this session and other session recordings click here. Ischemic stroke (or acute stroke) is the second leading cause of long-term disability. Many who suffer from ischemic stroke also have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Currently, ischemic stroke treatment therapies have a very limited therapeutic window and aren’t widely applicable to most patients. The treatment of OSA in patients with acute ischemic stroke is now being looked to as a novel, therapeutic approach to preventing stroke.
An overlooked symptom in people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is olfactory dysfunction (i.e., impairment in the sense of smell) such as an inability to detect or distinguish between odors. A finding that the sense of smell improves soon after a person with OSA begins continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment corroborates a possible link between olfactory dysfunction and OSA.1,2
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the intermittent cessation of breathing during sleep, occurs when the upper airway tissues (e.g., tonsils, fatty tissue) repeatedly collapse into the upper airway and partially or fully block airflow. The collapsibility of the upper airway in people with OSA is believed to occur because the upper airway muscles relax excessively during sleep, which allows structures supported by the muscles to collapse into the upper airway.