Forum · Writing a book about sleep apnea

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[-] LoyalLimeQuail7794 +2 points · over 1 year ago

I am writing a book on sleep apnea and wanted to know if anyone had any interesting topics that they can suggest that I can include in the book?

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[-] PatientVioletBear0961 +0 points · over 1 year ago

I think it would be a fascinating topic to discuss the latest ideas on how sleep apnea can be prevented. For example, some research suggests that breast feeding may reduce the risk of sleep apnea.

http://www.pittsburghdentalsleepmedicine.com/prevention-sleep-apnea-starts-breastfeeding/

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WomensHealth/story?id=3270215&page=1

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[-] Insomniache +0 points · about 1 year ago

I'd love to see more written about the effects insomnia, sleep apnea, etc. have on relationships/marriages.

It may be a little off topic yet I think it's important conversation that needs to be had. So much so I just started a blog because I couldn't find any support myself (I've been married to someone with insomnia for 13 years). If you think this information would be helpful - happy to explore it more with you. http://www.insomniache.com. Again, please keep in mind it's a new blog but I have TONS of thoughts, experience and information to share if you're interested.

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[-] DanM +0 points · about 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

Great information, Insomniache. My guess is that there are more people out there with similar experiences to yours!

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[-] PatientVioletBear0961 +0 points · about 1 year ago

On the topic of the wider effects of having a sleep disorder, the effects on one's work performance and career can be substantial too. (There is an interesting episode of the Freakonomics podcast which discusses the economics research showing evidence that people who sleep more/better are more productive and earn more money: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/the-economics-of-sleep-part-2-a-new-freakonomics-radio-episode/).

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[-] SensibleOrangeHedgehog1602 +0 points · 10 months ago

just signed up for your blog!

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[-] wg +1 point · about 1 year ago

It would be worthwhile to write a chapter on the medical profession and their relationship to folks suffering from apnea. I think apnea is one of those medical issues that is gray to most primary care physicians and in my personal experience poorly understood. The medical dangers associated with apnea suggest this would be a required area of study in medical school but it would seem not, based on my experience. I was also shocked when I found out how many of my friends, family and acquaintances suffered from apnea and were on PAP therapy. The relationship between the primary care doctor and the sleep study doctor also appears tenuous. The PCP prescribes a study, a study is done and a recommendation for a prescription comes with it and the PCP generally turns that into a prescription for a medical supply company and no one in that chain gets to know anything about the patient or their ability to tolerate what is being prescribed.

Another chapter in such a book could include informational resources. A bibliography would help as well as references to literature that speaks in plain English. Also a discussion of various websites where folks with apnea will naturally gravitate. I check out other sites (outside this one) and found some of the advice by amateur doctors was almost scary and well, dangerous. Many traps out there when attempting to self educate and self education is essential since the medical profession is not necessarily on top of sleep apnea and associated issues considering how widespread the problem is.

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[-] DanM +1 point · about 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi again, you make good points about patients needing to be able to find reliable information when self-educating. Those of us who work in the sleep medicine community are trying to forge relationships with primary care physicians, cardiologists and others who may not be as well-versed in sleep apnea as physicians who are trained in sleep medicine. Many physicians who work in sleep medicine started in other fields or practice in multiple areas. The most common in my experience are sleep medicine physicians who are either pulmonologists or neurologists. Also, when compared to other medical specialties, sleep medicine is still considered fairly new. Ideally, sleep physicians would follow patients with sleep disorders just like a cardiologist follow a patient with heart issues. Thanks for posting!

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[-] PhilosophicalCeriseNightingale1486 +0 points · about 1 year ago

I would like more information on sleep apnea and the effect on memory. I was told that my sleep apnea is so severe that the lack of oxygen has caused Vascular Dementia, as well as other problems. My IQ has went down, can no longer pay attention, watch a whole tv show, or focus.

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[-] SensibleOrangeHedgehog1602 +0 points · 10 months ago

my heart goes out to you!

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[-] SusanR +1 point · about 1 year ago

This is a really important issue--and one of the most vexing aspects is the apparent variability in how sleep apnea may affect memory. Although chronic hypoxemia and sleep fragmentation are thought to contribute - with affects on brain blood flow as well as brain functions, there is so much that is not known. I also have heard from many patients who want to identify strategies for "getting their brain back" after starting treatment for sleep apnea--this too can be an interesting area to cover. Please also see one of the articles written on this topic by one of our neurology experts, posted on the Learn page.

Good luck and thank you for work at increasing awareness!

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[-] AnnR -1 point · about 1 year ago

I would like to know why so many doctors know so little about the symptoms. I saw 12 doctors before seeing a neurologist who suggested a sleep study. I'm not sure if being a female and in my thirties had anything to do with it but I was written off over and over as depressed when I knew I wasn't. Thank you

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[-] PatientVioletBear0961 +0 points · about 1 year ago

Yup, that is a common experience among us young, normal weight females with sleep apnea. One doctor that I saw concluded that I probably had depression simply on the basis of that I was reporting sleep difficulties and chronic fatigue. He didn't even ask what my moods were like before drawing that conclusion. At the time, I was one of the happiest and most enthusiastic people I knew, other than being a bit dissatisfied about my sleep problems and fatigue.

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[-] DrTonySoileau +1 point · about 1 year ago

The above reply is correct. Most women under 40 that appear healthy are not seen in medical community as possibly having sleep apnea. Same is true for younger males but not as much as women. This is one of my blog post on LinkedIn about depression, anxiety, and sleep apnea. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/i-have-great-life-so-why-do-cry-get-depressed-angry-much-soileau?trk=prof-post I see it every week in my practice where young women come in with fatigue, insomnia, depression or anxiety. Choking on their tongue at night causing their fight or flight response to surge cortisol into their body all night has never been discussed with them. Prescriptions for anxiety (lower cortisol) and for depression (raise cortisol) are written in these cases without considering a sleep study or a cortisol test to determine the true problem.

You would help a tremendous amount of people if you covered this topic. Very few doctors connect these dots.

Dr Tony

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[-] Verne7 +0 points · about 1 year ago

I am late 60's and never had a doctor suggested a sleep study to me. It wasn't part of the curriculum for their fields of study probably. Also, they are people as much as any of us. Some of them rush though their patients barely listening, especially to things they have heard many time, just thinking of what to do for dinner or the evening out. This year, I ended up in the hospital with afib, and it's been suggested several time since then. Also, understand that regular doctors are not psychologists. Their knowledge of depression is limited. You are the only one that knows you, find a doctor that listens to you.

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[-] DrTonySoileau +0 points · about 1 year ago

You are correct that most doctors, myself included, had limited or no education on sleep apnea in school. And yes most are very busy and treating sleep apnea problems takes time to understand what the patient is going through. There is also the problem that different fields don't talk to each other. If you look at the data the hormonal and neuraltransmitter response to a sleep apnea event, a panic attack, and a choking event are all identical. Yet the dots have not been connected across specialty fields. So the patient with depression, or anxiety, or diabetes, or TMJ dysfunction, or obesity is never offered a sleep study to see if apnea is the true cause of the problem. So it may be up to the patient to find a doc to talk to that sees the big picture.

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[-] Tobikosan +0 points · 8 months ago

Hello- Thanks for all the good information. Do you have a dentist you might suggest in the Los Angeles area? I would need to be covered in my Bc BS medical plan. Thx

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[-] DrTonySoileau +0 points · 8 months ago

Just saw this post. Sorry for delay. Which part of LA? I know of a few dentists there. Kind of a big location

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[-] ImpartialVioletRhinoceros2234 +1 point · about 1 year ago

I would like to see information about using supplemental oxygen for daytime sleepiness in people w/ sleep apnea. My apnea is supposedly treated but I am still exhausted and fatigued during the day, and I take dexedrine for energy. However, I do not like being dependent on this drug. Someone recently told me her father used "a little" bit of oxygen in the morning, and this helped his fatigue. (Note that I am not interested in using CPAP and getting nighttime oxygen -- I only want to use a little during the day to fight my exhaustion.)

Any thoughts or experience would be appreciated.

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[-] StraightforwardByzantiumSpider6466 +0 points · about 1 year ago

I have been on BIPAP for 9 months. I am having same experience as you are. I can sleep 8 hours and still feel tired, exhausted , It is treating my apnea. I do notice an improvement in sleep. I sleep well with it on. I was waking up with heart pounding and now I'm not. The nights are usually good but the days are terrible. Feel exhausted all day. I was diagnosed about 10 years ago and couldn't sleep with it. My doctor ordered a home sleep study in December and was shocked that my apnea had gotten a lot worse. So I have really tried and am proud of myself that I have been able to stick with it but think about giving up because I'm so tired.

Do you have any good days? I do have some. I've been keeping a journal and during a month period I feel pretty good 15 out of 30 days. That is the only thing that keeps me going.

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[-] SensibleOrangeHedgehog1602 +0 points · 10 months ago

it is fascinating to hear what the day to day life is like for other people struggling with sleep apnea. This really sucks. My husabnd's apnea has been worse lately......so depilitating. One thing he found that helps is exercise. walking. which is hard when you are tired but.....keep writing. like the journal idea.

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[-] DanM +1 point · about 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

There are many things that can contribute to daytime fatigue--medications, other illnesses, sleep apnea that is not optimally treated, etc. Oxygen levels can be studied at home with an oximetry study, which generally requires a doctor's order. Some patients use CPAP at night and still require oxygen during the day, so it is possible to use each treatment independently. I encourage you to talk to your doctor about the daytime sleepiness to see if there are other factors that may be contributing and about whether an oximetry study might be helpful. Use of oxygen when it is not needed can lead to other problems with breathing. Please let us know what you find out!

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