A great night’s sleep not only makes us feel great and rested, it improves our health. For some, this is easier said than done! Over 18 million Americans suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This is a serious condition in which the the airway collapses or becomes obstructed during sleep causing shallow breathing or breathing pauses which can last from a few seconds to a over a minute. These episodes can be severe , occurring several times per hour. Blood oxygen levels drop can drop during these episodes. Over time, OSA has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, depression and accidents while driving. What used to be considered a nuisance can sometimes be not only a quality of life but quantity of life issue.
OSA is the leading cause of daytime sleepiness. Although anyone at any age can exhibit symptoms and be diagnosed with OSA, men seem more likely than women to have this condition. Risk factors include obesity and a family history of OSA. Occasionally, other medical conditions can affect OSA as well, such as congestive heart failure and neuromuscular disorders. Symptoms include loud and chronic snoring, headaches, memory problems, depression, irritability, dry mouth and sore throat. Treatments include Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and other devices and at times, surgical intervention.
In this segment, Dr. Scott Leibowitz, a board certified internal medicine physician and current President of the GA Association of Sleep Professionals will discuss OSA, good sleep hygiene, diagnosis and treatments for OSA and what’s new in this sleep apnea field. Listeners can visit: www.laureatemed.com and www.aasmnet.org for more information.
Dr. Scott Leibowitz
- Residency in Internal Medicine completed at Colorado Health Science Center
- Clinical research and fellowship in Sleep Medicine at Stanford
- Author and frequent lecturer on sleep medicine
- Current President of GA Association of Sleep Professionals
- Now board certified physician in private practice with Laureate Medical Group