Type 2 Diabetes Patients Who Have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Could Face Blindness Within Four Years

Senior blind gentleman sitting on a bench with his labrador retriever dog, in a park

Sleep disordered breathing, such as that associated with obstructive sleep apnoea, has long been regarded by medical experts as creating a very high risk of diabetes Type 2. It affects people of all ages but almost doubles the risk for older patients.

People with both sleep apnoea and type 2 diabetes are now known to have more than double the risk of worsening retina disease compared to diabetics without the sleep breathing disorder, a UK study suggests.

Researchers followed adults with type 2 diabetes over about four years and found that for those with milder eye disease at the start, having sleep apnoea was linked to higher odds that it would become more advanced.

This new research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered that patients who suffer from both Type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnoea are at greater risk of developing a condition that leads to blindness within an average period of less than four years.

The worse the sleep apnoea, the faster the progression of diabetic retinopathy, researchers found.

Previous studies have shown a link between OSA and diabetes-related eye problems. However, prior to this research led by the University of Birmingham, published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, there had been no published studies assessing the impact of OSA on the progression of diabetic retinopathy in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The University of Birmingham’s Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, states: “Despite improvements in glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels, diabetic retinopathy remains very common.

“Meanwhile, OSA has been shown to be very common in patients with Type 2 diabetes, which is not surprising considering that excess weight contributes to the development of both of these conditions. However, most patients who have OSA are not aware that they have the condition and the disease could go dangerously undiagnosed for years.

“However, more importantly, we have shown that patients with OSA and Type 2 diabetes, compared to those with diabetes only, are at increased risk of developing advanced diabetic retinopathy over a period of three years and seven months.”

The study was carried out at two diabetes clinics at hospitals in the Midlands and involved 230 patients with Type 2 diabetes. It excluded any patients who were already known to have OSA or any kind of respiratory condition.

The results showed that diabetic retinopathy prevalence was higher in patients with OSA (42.9%) compared to those without OSA (24.1%).

The study found that at a follow-up appointment, over 3 years later, the patients with OSA (18.4%) were much more likely to develop moderate to severe diabetic retinopathy compared to those without OSA (6.1%).

The study also showed that patients who received treatment for OSA had a lower risk of developing advanced diabetic retinopathy compared to patients who did not receive the treatment.

The findings of the study are very important because they can help to explore new treatments for the diabetic retinopathy. After the outcome of the research, clinicians now can take proper preventive measures while treating the patients with OSA and Type 2 diabetes. No doubt testing for OSA is essential because it is very common in Type 2 diabetes patients.

John Redfern

Source:

  • This study was funded by The National Institute for Health Research UK,

Sleepless in Seattle? It’s just the same in New York, LA, London or Sydney.

Woman with insomnia lying in bed with open eyes

If you’re suffering from lack of sleep you’re advised not to take any important decisions. Sleep is an important subject and it matters a great deal to us. We spend nearly a third of our lives asleep, and it is as vital to our well-being as the food we eat and the air we breathe. But our 24-hour culture means we are getting less sleep than ever.

Neurosurgeons have recently researched the subject in depth and have come to the conclusion that there is “remarkably little understanding” of the consequences on the brain of chronic sleep loss. In the research paper they describe the “precipitous decline in sleep duration throughout industrialised nations”, adding that more research was urgently needed.

We all know that it is dangerous to drive, or to work with machinery when tired, because our reaction times are impaired and we might fall asleep at the wheel, but the more subtle effects of sleep deprivation on day-to-day living are far less understood.

Prof Adrian Owen, a British neuroscientist based at the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University in London, Ontario, is heading the research project and is launching the new sleep cognition study. The team of researchers involved want people from all over the world to sign up online to do cognitive tests with the Cambridge Brain Sciences website.

It’s full of specially devised computer games that have been designed to test skills such as reasoning, language comprehension and decision-making. The tests can be played on any computer, tablet or smart phone.

Prof Owen stated: “It may be that lack of sleep is having very profound effects on decision making and perhaps we should avoid making important decisions like buying a house or deciding whether to get married when we are sleep deprived.”

He added: “We all know what it feels like to not get enough sleep but we know very little about the effects on the brain so we want to see how it affects cognition, memory and your ability to concentrate.”

The team will collate the cognitive scores and see the variations depending on how much sleep people have had. Everyone’s sleep requirements are different, but if enough people join the study, it may allow scientists to determine the average number of hours needed for having truly optimum brain function.

Lack of sleep is a major worldwide problem and ­people the world over are chasing quality shut-eye, particularly as they have realised that the list of health conditions linked to sleepless nights is rising.

In Australia the Sleep Health Foundation has found that up to 45 per cent of Australian adults sleep poorly or not long enough on most nights. The Foundation’s Professor David Hillman says that the rise of technology is concerning as it is ­robbing people of time that should be spent asleep.

Hillman says data from the foundation’s research shows 12 per cent of respondents said they slept an average of 5½ hours, or less, a night. He says only about 3 per cent of the population is hard wired to sleep so few hours. “We are more challenged than ever. Two hundred years ago there were no electric lights and no electronic media so what did people do overnight? They went to bed and slept. Now we are so interconnected — when Sydney is asleep, New York is awake”.

The struggle for sleep to compete with digital devices is real and the large companies involved are ready to fight. Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings has named sleep as his main competitor, positioning it above tech rivals Amazon and YouTube.

Many people are looking for help with their sleep problem and are receiving it from bed and mattress companies, and manufacturers of wearable devices for sleep disorders such as snoring and obstructive sleep ­apnoea.

Ron Grunstein, a Professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Sydney, says the awareness of sleep, and the growing lack of it, is on the rise. “These are the sorts of things people are looking at so that they get better value out of the sleep they do get,” The sleep expert adds that it’s Catch 22 as there is an increasing recognition that sleep problems cause other health problems, as well as health problems causing sleep problems.

Monday July 3rd 2017 to Sunday July 9th 2017 is Sleep Awareness Week

John Redfern


Some snoring is harmful and some isn’t – and this is how to tell the difference

Not all snoring is harmful so it helps to be able to recognise when it’s actually dangerous as it can sometimes cause a very serious lack of oxygen and life threatening sleep disorders. Over one third of the people who snore are believed to have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

OSA Diagram

Overall it is estimated that 60% of men and 40% of women snore by the time they have reached their sixties and if they have OSA, then the primary sleep apnoea symptoms are pauses in breathing during sleep. They’re related to snoring and the resulting lack of oxygen to the brain during sleep.

Not all snoring however is connected to sleep apnoea. Loud breathing noises or ‘snoring’ can be described as a normal event. However sleeping with your mouth open and pauses in breathing may indicate a sleep disorder. If you sleep on your back, your tongue falls into your airway, and pauses in breathing can reach a duration of 10 seconds, and happen as many as 100 times in an hour.

The reason for your snoring stems from the relaxation of the throat muscles when you sleep. Less airway volume can mean that the relaxed throat vibrates when you breathe and this is the universal cause of snoring whether it’s harmful as described above or just ‘normal’ snoring.

In addition to snoring, other symptoms of OSA include:

  • Gasping for air whilst sleeping
  • Waking up with Morning headaches
  • Feeling extra tired during the day
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Irritability or mood swings

For optimal breathing, we should be breathing through our nose. Sleep apnoea is your body experiencing breathing dysfunction during sleep. Nasal breathing prevents oxygen deprivation and it acts to increase blood flow and deliver oxygen to the lungs.

The tongue is one of the main factors in snoring and sleeping with the mouth open. It can also reveal sleep apnoea symptoms. Your tongue contains and connects to one of the largest groups of muscles in the body and the muscles of the tongue support the airways with connections to the jaws, neck, and base of the skull. It also connects to the hyoid bone, which is a floating bone that supports your airway.

When you go to sleep, the primary muscles inside your tongue and your throat relax and for you to keep your airway open, support muscles for the throat must hold firm. The normal posture of the tongue is to sit against the top of your mouth. This position turns on the muscles that support the throat and the airways.

Sleeping with an open mouth is a sign your tongue is not supporting your airway. The tongue can then fall back into the airway, blocking normal breathing. Mouth breathing can also cause lack of oxygen and OSA.

Sleep disorders have become a bigger problem than ever and this was underlined this week by the NHS figures which reveal that the number of tests carried out by the NHS to diagnose people with sleep disorders across England has doubled in the past decade.

NHS data shows that 147,610 sleep diagnostic tests were carried out last year – compared with 69,919 in 2007-08. This is more than double.

Those with OSA usually manage it by either CPAP treatment, which involves wearing an oxygen mask at night, or by using custom-fitted oral devices that keep the airways open. It also helps to lose weight and in some more extreme cases people can have surgery to remove excess throat tissue.

Doctors attribute the rise in the number of sleep tests to a greater sense of overall public awareness about the wider health implications of not getting enough sleep. It is estimated that about 1.5 million people in the UK suffer from the condition, although doctors warn many people will have never been formally diagnosed.

“Sleep apnoea is a serious condition leading to other problems such as high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to strokes and heart attacks,” said Dr Stephen Bianchi from Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital. “We think about 2% of females, and 4% of males in the UK have significant sleep apnoea. We also suspect that 80% of those with the condition are unaware they have it.”

John Redfern


Sleep apnoea is a real danger to everyone and makes no exceptions

This was clearly shown on Friday evening when an announcement from the Los Angeles medical examiner’s office on Carrie Fisher’s cause of death raised the possibility of a lethal interplay of sleep apnoea, drug use and heart disease.

Star Wars - Carrie Fisher

Photograph of Carrie Fisher in Star Wars supplied for incorporation by Rex Features

Carrie Fisher was a well-known Hollywood actress and author who rose to fame in Star Wars playing one of the leading roles as Princess Leia. She collapsed on December 23rd on an 11-hour flight from London to Los Angeles and she died a few days later on December 27th.

In January, the medical examiner initially listed the cause of death as cardiac arrest, which is often confused with a heart attack. While a heart attack is a common cause of cardiac arrest, they are not the same thing. A heart attack occurs when a blockage stops blood flow to the heart, while a cardiac arrest, the sudden stoppage of the heart, is caused by a serious malfunction of the heart’s electrical system.

On Friday The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said the cause of death was clearly caused by “sleep apnoea and other undetermined factors.”

Other findings in the autopsy included atherosclerotic heart disease and the use of multiple drugs, although the significance of the latter isn’t fully known, according to the announcement, which noted that the manner of Fisher’s death has been ruled “undetermined.”

The Greek word “apnea” means “without breath.” People with sleep apnoea stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, sometimes as often as 30 times an hour or more, for a few seconds to more than a minute each time. Most people who have it don’t know it, since the two main signs snoring, and snorting when breathing resumes, both occur during sleep although not everyone who snores has sleep apnoea.

A family member or bed partner is often the first to notice the signs, according to the National Hear, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in the USA. Other signs include headaches or a dry mouth upon awakening; daytime sleepiness; an inability to concentrate; feeling irritable or depressed or having mood swings and waking up frequently to urinate, the NHLBI says.

The medical examiner did not specify what type of sleep apnoea Fisher had. Obstructive sleep apnoea, in which the upper airway collapses or becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep, is the more common, affecting an estimated 9% of women and 17% of men 50 and older, but fewer people younger than 50, according to the Heart Association. In central sleep apnoea, which is often related to certain medical conditions or medications, the airway isn’t blocked, but the brain fails to properly signal the breathing muscles. Snoring isn’t typically associated with central sleep apnoea but some people have both obstructive and central sleep apnoea.

If not diagnosed and treated, sleep apnoea can lead to serious, potentially fatal health problems. Population-based studies show that people with obstructive sleep apnoea have a significantly greater risk of heart arrhythmias, which can trigger sudden cardiac arrest, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions according to the Heart Association.

Medication isn’t usually used to treat sleep apnoea, but the NHLBI lists several methods that can help open your airway while you sleep:

  • Being overweight or obese is the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnoea, so sometimes losing weight stops apnoea episodes.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Sleep on your side instead of your back.
  • If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, a custom-fitted mouthpiece made by a medically approved specialist can adjust your lower jaw and tongue to keep your airway open.
  • For moderate to severe sleep apnoea, a “continuous positive airway pressure,” or “CPAP” machine is often used. The CPAP machine blows air into your throat while you sleep, helping to keep your airway open.

NHLBI Statements are used courtesy of Forbes Media, New York.

John Redfern


Untreated Sleep Apnoea Could Cut 10 To 20 Years Off Your Life

The body and mind need sleep in order to function properly. Sleep apnoea, or constantly stopping and starting breathing at night, is one of the things holding millions of people back from sleeping properly.

Sleep Apnea

It often goes undiagnosed, but it comes with surprisingly apparent symptoms that can significantly worsen your quality of life and also shorten it.

If you look at some of the most commonly treated conditions in any country of the world right now such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and headaches – all of these can be medically associated with an obstructed airway.

Doctors say a healthier lifestyle including proper diet, exercise and weight loss can prevent sleep apnoea from occurring. However, if you’re experiencing multiple symptoms, you should speak with your physician.

It is a common problem among all ages and both genders, but don’t let snoring ruin your relationship or a good night’s sleep. Learn what causes snoring and how you can put it to bed with our expert advice.  If your partner has ever told you that you snore, bear in mind the danger you might be putting yourself in every single time that it happens. It may mean that you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

Some heavy, regular snorers have sleep apnoea, a condition where the airways become completely blocked during sleep with symptoms that include large pauses in breathing, leaving them waking-up gasping for air. Many heavy snorers tend to wake themselves frequently in sleep, with the resulting patchy sleep leading to daytime sleepiness. Regardless of whether it’s snoring or sleep apnoea, it can easily and quickly be prevented.

Even for those who sleep alone, snoring is no laughing matter. According to the National Sleep Foundation in the USA, regular heavy snorers are more likely to experience thickening or abnormalities in the carotid artery, which can lead to atherosclerosis; a hardening of the arteries that is known to trigger numerous vascular diseases.

Daytime grogginess, irritability and mood swings, problems concentrating and remembering, and an increased likelihood of car or other types of accidents are just some of the complications arising from interrupted, snore-ridden sleep. Since almost half of us regularly snore, isn’t it worth knowing what’s likely to be causing it, and what are the most effective measures of putting it to bed?

Products are available to open the airway. The C-PAP machine is one of the most recognisable treatments, and is used to prevent both snoring and sleep apnoea. Other less aggressive options include custom-fitted mouthpieces that reposition your jaw and open your upper airways so you can get more oxygen while you sleep. Other types that you can shape for yourself are easily available and both kinds are medically approved.

SleepPro oral appliances are not only rated by the NHS in Britain as the top performing products in their extensive regular tests, but are also issued directly to patients who consult many of their Specialist Sleep Clinics. The NHS results were published in the Lancet in 2014, but regular testing still continues to ensure the correct products stay at the top of their recommendation list – position that SleepPro still enjoys.

There at least 120 such oral appliances licensed in the US, for example, but all are variations of the original appliance and stick to the same principle. The prices vary greatly and is another reason stated by the British NHS for using SleepPro, as affordability is considered to be important too.

While Mandibular Advancement Appliances (MAD’s) can be bought over the counter, or online, it usually pays long-term to have a customised one made and fitted to your dental profile. It feels more comfortable, works better and lasts longer. Having a custom-made one can, in time, become much more cost effective, and more effective overall.

It’s vitally important to remember that OSA is a serious medical condition and it should never be ignored – but it should be prevented.

John Redfern


Research proves that you can’t be both ‘Fat’ and ‘Fit’

The new research was announced first at the European Congress on Obesity that took place last week in Portugal. The idea that people can be fat, but medically fit, is a myth, say those involved. Their early work, which is as yet unpublished, involved looking at the GP records of 3.5 million people in the UK for the 20 years from 1995 to 2015, but applies worldwide.
The term “fat but fit” refers to the theory that if people are obese, but all their other metabolic factors such as blood pressure and blood sugar are within recommended limits, then the extra weight will not be harmful.

Young Woman Measuring Her Waist

They tracked people who were obese at the start of the study (defined as people with a body mass index of 30 or more) who had no evidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes at this point.

They found these people who were obese but “metabolically healthy” were at higher risk of developing heart disease, strokes and heart failure than people of normal weight.

Dr Mike Knapton, from the British Heart Foundation, said: “It’s not often that research on this scale and magnitude is able to clarify an age-old myth.

“These findings should be taken extremely seriously and I’d urge healthcare professionals to take heed.”

“What was new from this study for me is that it showed that people who were overweight or obese were at increased risk of heart disease even though they may have been healthy in every other respect.

“Just being overweight puts you at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.”

According to the British Heart Foundation, the normal heart health advice applies – not smoking, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and limiting alcohol intake – can all help keep people healthy. However other studies have suggested that is not always the amount of fat that matters but where the excess fat is carried on the body that can affect fitness and health. For example, weight around the middle may be more damaging than weight distributed evenly around the body.

Being overweight can exacerbate an existing milder snoring problem, because one of the primary causes of the turbulence in the throat is the narrowing of the airway due to neck fat. Losing weight can help alleviate the problem by reducing fat in the neck and helping to open the airway.

Technically, snoring is the sound of air turbulence in the back of the throat caused by a narrowing of the airway, and the sound of someone snoring is really the sound of someone who is having difficulty in breathing. The most frequent myth about snoring is that it is harmless or even humorous. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is widely recognised that snoring is a sign of a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder if not prevented or controlled. It also causes ‘snacking’ which is associated with sleep disorders generally.

Snoring is a common condition that can affect anyone, although it occurs more frequently in men and people who are overweight and because of this it has a tendency to worsen with age.

When trying to locate the cause or causes for your snoring, you need to be methodical because without identifying where the source of the problem lies, it may prove difficult to cure. The first thing to consider is body fat, as obese people are very likely to snore. In short, men are more prone to putting on fat in the neck area than women; fat which squashes the throat, leaving less room to breathe.

Products are readily available to open the airway. The C-PAP machine is one of the most recognizable treatments, and is used to prevent both snoring, and sleep apnoea.

It’s easier though to purchase and use an appliance that uses a method called boil-and-bite and shapes it to your dental profile, and SleepPro have a range of these that are both inexpensive and simple to use. You bite into it as you do a sports mouth guard and it keeps the jaw in a stable position.

Other options include custom-fitted mouthpieces provided by dentists, but these are very expensive, and the same custom-fitted alternatives can be bought online for much less. They are equally effective and have been thoroughly tested by the NHS who list the range of UK made SleepPro products as their top recommendation, and even issue them to patients.

Losing weight is the ideal answer but in the meantime help is available this way, and together they offer a great joint solution.

John Redfern


The problems faced by couples due to snoring

Snoring is a huge problem that results in one in three couples in the UK now opting to sleep apart to get a better night’s sleep. Do you find it hard to get a good night’s sleep because there is someone snoring alongside you? Millions of couples worldwide are familiar with this situation and suffer from disturbed sleep. In some cases, both partners in the relationship are snorers.

Depositphotos_22187801_sleeppro

While we sleep our bodies are hard at work recharging and optimising our body’s functions. A recent study found that those who slept less than seven hours a night on average were three times more likely to get sick and suffer major health issues than those who averaged at least eight hours.

A recent study has shown that 41.5% of the British adult population snores at some time or other in their week. So most likely, even if you don’t snore, your partner does, and sometimes both of you have the problem. As such, more than 30 million people have a regular and ongoing problem with snoring and usually, men snore much louder than women.

The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 90 million Americans snore, 37 million on a regular basis. While all ages and genders snore, twice as many men than women snore nearly every night and most of them go through life undiagnosed. If you have trouble sleeping at night, it could be more than just a noisy disturbing inconvenience. In fact, you could be suffering from a serious medical condition called sleep apnea.

The reasons why we snore are pretty straightforward. When you fall asleep the muscles in your neck and throat relax. They then go floppy and the airways narrow, meaning there is less space for the air to go through. The soft tissue in this smaller space vibrates and rattles as the air passes through.

Snoring is also a symptom of sleep apnea which results in dangerous oxygen deprivation, as the sleeper’s airway becomes blocked, and deprives the brain of oxygen, As result it is unable to reach the cells and tissues, and dangerous conditions occur due to low oxygen over a long period.

If this is an issue for you, then there is a kinder, and more effective solution than kicking the person next to you and waking them up, or moving out. After all, that’s pretty counterproductive, and one of the main reasons why snoring is listed as the third most important factor that contributes to divorce. The medically recommended solution also makes quitting the marital bedroom to get some sleep something that is no longer necessary.

NHS Choices clearly gives the following information on their website:

‘If your snoring is mainly due to the base of your tongue vibrating, a mandibular advancement device (MAD) may be recommended.

It’s designed to push your jaw and tongue forward. This increases the space at the back of your throat and reduces the narrowing of your airway that’s causing your tongue to vibrate, resulting in snoring.

You can buy a MAD for around £30-50, which is suitable for most cases of simple snoring (snoring that doesn’t cause any breathing difficulties).

However, if your snoring is associated with breathing difficulties, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, it’s recommended that you have a MAD made specifically for you by a specialist using impressions of your teeth and jaw.

The cost of a custom-made MAD will depend on the complexity of the device and materials used, and can range from several hundred pounds to several thousand pounds. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to obtain a custom-made MAD free of charge on the NHS.

An MAD lasts about 18 months before it needs to be replaced.’

Source: NHS Choices

Following an extensive testing programme, the NHS published their findings in The Lancet and recommended SleepPro oral appliances as their number one selection to prevent snoring, along with mild to moderate sleep apnoea. Many patients acquire SleepPro products online after consulting their Hospital or Sleep Centre where special literature is made available that describes the product range available and they can arrange special prices.

These are all problems that couples who snore may have to cope with later in life when they should be relaxing, enjoying life, and ticking off their bucket list but it’s never too late to take action.

Peace will return to the bedroom and your relationship will be the winner.

John Redfern


Simple snoring – Is it a problem?

When someone who snores discovers that they do not have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and simply snore heavily, the resulting feeling can understandably be one of great relief.

Snoring man, frustrated woman

However for some patients, frustration and not relief is the dominant emotion. They remain alone in handling the complex problems spurred by their simple snoring such as their wife sleeping in a different room or not being able to go on a caravan camping trip with friends. They want advice.

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are conditions that share similarities but have some differences. Both can be caused or made worse by factors such as obesity, aging, or a large tongue and tonsils. Both snoring and OSA can have negative effects on a person’s health, including lessening sleep quality and causing daytime sleepiness as well as causing weight gain, more rapid skin aging, and memory loss. These conditions can also lead to a greater risk of severe conditions such as heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Historically there are longstanding home remedies for simple snoring (also known as primary or benign snoring) that sleep professionals have always recommended, such as weight loss, limiting night-time alcohol intake, and these still stand today.

However the medical viewpoint has now moved on to recommend the use of easy and inexpensive methods of snoring prevention such as using an oral appliance when sleeping at night. This helps snorers and snorers’ bed partners markedly improve their sleep and it also brings important health results along with it. These also work for those who suffer from OSA.

Snoring solutions are similar to apnea solutions. Anything that will open up the narrowed airway will help.

Good sleep is key to good health and in the UK this week we have been celebrating sleep and most of us have been getting plenty of it, but there are over 20 million of us in the UK that suffer from snoring and that’s not counting the millions who are affected by somebody else snoring.

Whilst it is a common condition, National Stop Snoring Week aims to raise awareness about the impact that sleep deprivation can have on the human body and general health. For many of us, a good night’s sleep is something that we could only wish for but is actually vital for our health.

An Omnibus study commissioned in 2015 found that over 45% of both snorers and their partners have mediocre or poor sleep quality whereas 63% of people from non-snoring homes have good or excellent sleep quality.

Partners of snorers wake up more often during the night (49% partner versus 31% snorer), feel more tired (46% partner versus 33% snorer), and are unhappier (18% partner versus 12% snorer) than the snorer. Most snorers (43%) say they try not to let snoring bother them but 20% admit to sleeping in a separate bedroom.1

The study found that 64% of American households are now dealing with at least one snorer and 50% are losing sleep because of it.

The effects of poor sleep are compounded with 18% forced to sleep in separate beds. In the United Kingdom, this figure has skyrocketed to 34% of people with snoring partners with 38% of women insisting on separate rooms.

For couples that suffer from their partners snoring, men are winning by enjoying better sleep quality than women (15% vs 9%). Women on the other hand reported poorer quality sleep due to a partner snoring (23% vs 16%).

The available solution is fast, inexpensive and vital to your health, so check out the NHS recommended oral appliances that are supplied by SleepPro, and are made in their laboratories here in the UK. Following extensive tests, the NHS recommends SleepPro as the first appliance to choose for the prevention of both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

John Redfern

  1. Source Research Article

80% of loud snorers who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it

Obstructive sleep apnea, often referred to as OSA, is characterised by loud snoring that occurs before a person stops breathing and is a condition that causes the throats of sufferers to close up while they sleep, meaning their brain has to continually wake them up from a deep sleep in order to reopen the throat muscles.

BBC Image

Watch this BBC NEWS film that describes Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The breathing pause can last a few seconds or several minutes and may happen many times during the night. It has been linked to daytime sleepiness and a host of other diseases.

Risk factors for sleep apnea include obesity, being over the age of 55, and smoking. Tests have proven that sleep apnea can be hereditary, and men outnumber women among those who are afflicted with the disease. Consequently, stopping smoking or taking dietary precautions prompting weight loss can reduce or even eliminate the effects of many sleep disorders. However, no age group is immune to a sleep disorder.

The overall number of people with OSA is known to be increasing due to major lifestyle problems such as more people now being overweight. Actual numbers are difficult to record as most cases go undiagnosed, but the increased number of nationwide Sleep Disorder Centres in the USA gives us a good idea of the growth of OSA. They have risen in total from 2.280 in 2010 to just over 2,850 in 2016. Their estimated revenue shows OSA is costing $7 billion per year, estimated to rise to $10 billion by 2020.

Similar figures exist for other countries but the economic impact of sleep apnea extends beyond the economic revenue for those who are treated the disease. The annual economic burden of undiagnosed sleep apnea in the USA is about $149.6 billion, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This includes nearly $87 billion in lost productivity, $26 billion in car crashes and $6.5 billion in workplace accidents.

Untreated sleep apnea leads to a host of other serious health problems including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and depression. As a result, undiagnosed sleep leads to $30 billion a year in increased health care costs. The AASM estimates if everyone who suffers from sleep apnea received treatment, it would create a savings of just over $100 billion.

Chronic sufferers are advised to use CPAP machines every night when they sleep and this involves wearing a mask that fits over their nose, or their nose and also their mouth. The device increases air pressure in a patient’s throat, prevents the airway from collapsing, and eliminates obstructed breathing.

However a high number of patients struggle to adjust to CPAP machines and use other approved medical solutions and treatments such as an oral appliance that shifts the lower jaw forward opening airways during sleep. This Mandibular Adjustment Device (MAD) will successfully address the problem of obstruction of the airway and restore normal sleep.

As said earlier, men have a higher risk of sleep apnea, but recent studies are finding that women who have experienced menopause have the same risk as men. Weight and genetics also have an impact.

Some patients seek treatment after a partner complains about their loud snoring, or gaps in their breathing, but for those who live alone it might be tougher to diagnose.

Snoring is a common phenomenon, but some snorers may require medical treatment so they should look for the following key indicators that may indicate that they have sleep apnea. These include daytime fatigue, lapses into sleep during the day, and impairment of normal activity.

If snoring results in them having headaches in the morning, suffer from bouts of irritability, or have any of the other symptoms, or if it disturbs their partner, then they should seek to prevent this by using an oral appliance (MAD) which does not need a Doctor’s prescription, and do so immediately, and in severe cases they should seek out immediate medical advice.

John Redfern


Oral Appliances to Treat Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

There are always lots of questions asked of us by those who are considering using an oral appliance for the first time and therefore we’ve tried to answer as many as possible of those basic questions in this short article.

Young girl can't sleep because of her man's snoring

What exactly is an oral appliance?

Oral appliances are one of the key options that you can use to treat mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, as well as snoring. They are sometimes alternatively called Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS), Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD), or Mandibular Repositioning Appliances (MRA). They look a bit like a mouth guard that you might wear if you were playing a contact sport and they are worn at night while sleeping.

Do I simply snore or could it be sleep apnoea?

Snoring is very common and happens when your throat vibrates during sleep due to it having narrowed or even closed, which can happen for a number of different reasons. It is usually held open by a couple of small muscles and these may have relaxed causing it to narrow. When you breathe in it will therefore vibrate and make the sound we all know so well.

It’s very common for people to snore and can happen for both sexes and all age groups, but the age group at most risk are those of middle age and upwards. Men are a little more prone to snore than women at over 40% of their total but the number of women almost matches that figure nowadays.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition when the airway at the back of the throat is repeatedly blocked, partly or completely, during sleep. Although you may not realise, this stoppage in your breathing causes you to wake briefly and restart breathing once more. Your partner will observe this happening but not yourself and it can occur many times each hour. Snoring, obesity, and sleepiness in the daytime may suggest that a person has sleep apnoea and treatment for this is vital. If you need more advice you should contact your GP or local NHS Sleep Centre who will advise you.

How do oral appliances work?

The simplest way to describe it is that they push your lower jaw forwards. Your airway will open up more and there will be less of a risk that it will vibrate or be obstructed and cause you to snore.

As with all treatments, some people respond better than others but generally most people find them to be a satisfactory way to stop snoring. In the case of OSA, the oral appliance will work best if you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, if your sleep apnoea is a lot better when you lie on your side than when you lie on your back and if you are not overweight. If you have central sleep apnoea, which is much less common than obstructive sleep apnoea, then oral appliances will probably not help.

Severe or chronic cases of OSA will require treatment by CPAP which will stop sleep apnoea straight away in almost all people who use it but sometimes people find it difficult to wear the regulatory breathing mask which is attached to an oxygen pump and often stop their treatment. Rather than do nothing they are advised to use an oral appliance that will usually improve their sleep apnoea, but it may not completely stop it.

Are there any side effects?

The two main types are generally trouble free but any small problems can usually be quickly overcome. Type A can be used straight from the box and after immersion in hot water will shape to fit your dental profile. It can be re-modified as required over time until the fit is one that you find easiest and most comfortable to wear.

Type B is custom-fitted to your dental profile from a mold that you take and send back to the Dental laboratory that supplied it.

If the mouthpiece fits correctly correctly, it should be comfortable most of the time but because it pushes your jaw forward, some people may feel some discomfort initially, although it tends to get better with prolonged use. Mostly, any discomfort is in the joint at the back of your jaw, just in front of the ear. This should soon go away when you take the appliance out in the morning. Other people find that it causes saliva to build up in the mouth, or makes the teeth feel tender but these symptoms settle quickly with continuing use.

A 98% success rate and a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee on all our SleepPro Starter Appliances hopefully speaks for itself.

 

John Redfern