March 20th is Sleep Apnea Awareness Day and the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) wants to focus on that since it is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases undiagnosed. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which represents the great preponderance of the cases, when left untreated can lead to high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. OSA is associated with type 2 diabetes and depression; and is a factor in many traffic accidents and accidents with heavy machinery, as the result of persistent drowsiness suffered by many OSA patients before the disease is recognized and treated. The public and the health community are aware of the increasing obesity of Americans, a phenomenon related to the risk of having sleep apnea.
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) is a sleep breathing disorder characterized by the narrowing of the nasal airway that cause disruptions to sleep. The symptoms include unrefreshing sleep, fatigue or sleepiness, chronic insomnia and difficulty concentrating. UARS can be treated with lifestyle changes, orthodontics, surgery, or CPAP therapy.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) is a form of sleep-disordered breathing that occurs when the brain fails to send regular signals to the breathing muscle (diaphragm) during sleep. As a result, breathing is either not attempted or becomes more shallow than normal. This is very different than the more common OSA.
Over the past two years, ASAA has collected patient surveys and identified the 8 Unmet Needs of Sleep Apnea Patients. This year’s Sleep Apnea Awareness Day is helping to address Need Two: Lack of Awareness in the medical community and general public.
Sleep Apnea Awareness Day Schedule of Events
March 2nd – 8 Unmet Needs of Sleep Apnea Patients – The release of the document that brings to light the deficiencies in patients’ sleep apnea care and treatment. Several patient advocates will talk about their sleep apnea journeys and the difficulties they faced. Watch here (URL https://youtu.be/XS-jStXQOa0)
March 9th- Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) – Learn the difference between this type of sleep disturbed breathing and OSA. And the difference in testing, symptoms and treatments. Watch here.
March 16th- In Remembrance: Bryan Louis Chaney – Kevin Bradley RN, will talk with the parents of a 25-year-old son who died from complications related to sleep apnea. The parents joined ASAA to help our mission and raise awareness of getting diagnosed and using your prescribed therapy. Tuesday 3/16 at 3:00pm EST on YouTube or Facebook.
March 20th- Sleep Apnea Awareness Day – join us on social media all day for videos, replays and ways to get involved with ASAA!
March 18th- What is Central Sleep Apnea? Webinar (CSA-) This type of sleep-disordered breathing occurs when the brain fails to send regular signals to the breathing muscle (diaphragm) during sleep. As a result, breathing is either not attempted or becomes more shallow than normal. Register here for the webinar at 6:30 pm EST
March 30th – Pediatric Sleep Apnea – Learn about how sleep apnea presents in children and the signs and symptoms to look for, and how interrupted sleep impacts effects children in different ways than adults. Tuesday 3/30 at 3:00pm EST on YouTube or Facebook.