Jun 08

Shaquille O’neal was recently diagnosed with mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by a group of doctors at the Harvard Medical School. This video shows Shaq speaking about his condition with his wife and his physicians. It also shows Shaq undergoing a polysomongram, or “sleep study”, and being fitted for a CPAP, continuous positive air pressure, to treat his sleep apnea. Shaq appears to be really receptive to wearing the CPAP, and even jokes about wearing the mask to a nightclub. It’s great to see that he is willing to try to wear the CPAP for his treatment of sleep apnea. CPAP is a wonderful treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, that when worn works almost all of time. However, for many patients, the thought of sleeping while wearing a mask with hoses attached to it does not appeal to them, and many patients refuse to try at all. In many cases, if the patient cannot, or will not wear the CPAP as prescribed by their sleep physician, the sleep physician can refer the patient to a dentist that has been trained in dental sleep medicine. The dentist can create a sleep apnea dental appliance that can be used to successfully treat obstructive sleep apnea. I’m happy to see that Shaq has been so open about his sleep apnea condition and his successful treatment with CPAP. I hope that this will help others seek to have their sleeping and breathing disorders properly diagnosed and treated. Dr. Zach Hodgins of The Dentist’s Studio in Winter Park, Florida has successfully treated many patients that have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, and patients that will not wear CPAP, with a dental sleep apnea treatment appliance, sometimes called a dental sleep apnea mouthpiece, or a mandibular advancement device. You can reach Dr. Zach Hodgins at his office in Winter Park, Florida, a suburb of Orlando, Florida by telephone at 407.647.1744, or via the web at www.stopsleepapnea.info .

Mar 18

Car AccidentWhat role does Obstructive Sleep Apnea play in driving drowsy?
Recently there’s been a lot of talk about the dangers of text messaging while driving. While extremely dangerous, I believe that there is another aspect of driving that is even more frightening. It involves falling asleep at the wheel and getting into an automobile accident. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2008 Sleep in America™ poll, the odds a driver 18 or older has ever nodded off or fallen asleep while driving are 1 in 2.78. And the odds a licensed adult has had an accident or near-accident due to drowsiness in the past year are 1 in 50.

What is the cause of being overly sleepy? Many point to the increased workloads at school and at work, increased amounts of stress at the job. I would like to bring up the ever increasing problem with weight that has hit America, and consequently the increased prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that involves a collapse of the upper airway. This results in a decreased amount of oxygen that is available for the body to use. Several of my other blog posts have dealt with the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. So, I won’t cover it again here.

What can we do to combat the ever increasing problem of drowsy driving?

I think that one really needs to pay close attention to the quality and quantity of sleep. If you sleep with someone else, you can ask that person if he/she ever notices if you snore or stop breathing while sleeping. If you have any of the signs or symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, see a physician that is well versed in treating people that have sleeping and breathing disorders. If you feel too tired to drive, don’t do it. Take a cab, have someone else drive instead, or go back to sleep. It’s far better than killing yourself or someone else.

From a national perspective, the toll from drowsy driving accidents is enormous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver fatigue causes at least 100,000 crashes reported to the police annually, resulting in about 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injuries each year.

If you live in the Orlando, Florida area visit Dr. Zach Hodgins of Winter Park,FL 407.647.1744. www.DentistStudio.com. He is a dentist that treats patients that have been diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea. He also treats patients that have severe sleep apnea and cannot tolerate a CPAP. The treatment involves making a custom fitted sleep apnea mouthpiece.

Jan 17

In April 2006, the Institute of Medicine released a 461 page report entitled “Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem” (http://nap.edu). According to the paper, an estimated 50-70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders, with the estimated prevalence of OSAS being 4 to 7% of the U.S. The term used to describe excessive sleepiness is hypersomnolence. The statistics regarding the damage caused by this problem are astounding. $150 Billion annually is lost in decreased productivity and accidents. The medical costs from daytime hypersomnolence alone cost another $48 billion. The most shocking of all the statistics listed within the paper is that 20% of all serious car accidents involve daytime hypersomnolence. This statistic is independent of those accidents involving alcohol.

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) established “Dentists Against Drowsy Driving” in November 2008. It’s goal is to increase awareness throughout the health professions and the public about the dangers associated with undiagnosed and untreated sleep-related breathing disorders. Dr Zach Hodgins, a dentist practicing in Winter Park, FL, is an expert in treating patients that have been diagnosed by their physicians with OSA. “The problem with sleep-related breathing disorders is that it is a problem that is rarely screened for by most physicians and dentists”, says Dr. Hodgins. Dr. Hodgins recommends that any patient with any signs of sleep apnea see their physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

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Oct 21

Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be treated on different levels. If you have been diagnosed by a medical doctor with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), you should follow his/her recommendation for professional treatment, which usually will consist of wearing a CPAP or an oral appliance. The oral appliance can be delivered by a dentist trained in sleep dentistry.

In addition to following the medical treatment recommendations, there are 5 things that you can do at home to treat OSA. I will cover each of the 5 things in subsequent blog posts. The five things are:

1) Lose Weight
2) Stop smoking
3) Abstain from drinking Alcohol or taking sedatives before bedtime
4) Sleep on your side
5) Treat nasal congestion before sleeping

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Aug 06

We all worry about our health, but we often deprive ourselves of sleep. Whether you are too busy, too stressed, or have a noisy neighbor sleep deprivation can take years off your life.
One of the major causes of lack of sleep is Sleep Apnea. OSA or obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the throat being blocked by the soft tissue in the back of the throat.
Sleep is one of those subjects taken way too lightly and a good nights sleep can dramatically improve you life. Through out this blog we will discuss sleep news, sleep apnea and ways to cure and diminish sleep disorders.
Now is when you yawn 😉

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