No One is Immune to Sleep Apnea.

The unforeseen death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia earlier in February was a shock to many and theories as to why he may have passed at age 79 started to develop soon after the news broke. One of the guesses discussed in an article at the Huffington Post (“Questions about the Death of Justice Scalia“) and an article at the Washington Post (“Why those Conspiracy Theories about Antonin Scalia’s Death Don’t Add Up“) suggests [highlight dark=”yes”]sleep apnea[/highlight] might have played a significant factor in the eventual health deterioration of Justice Scalia.

Speculation.

Even though there is still speculation on the true cause of death for Justice Scalia, the notion that sleep apnea may have played a role in the eventual cessation of his health is important to expound on. Scalia was an older man with a large neck circumference due to the extra weight on his frame, so the likelihood that the extra pressure around his neck and airway would cause trouble during sleep is not too hard to believe.

There are no solid affirmations that Scalia suffered from sleep apnea, but with his physical attributes and physician statements, it is highly likely he was a viable candidate for sleep apnea. According to the LA Times, Scalia’s physician stated Scalia had heart problems, high blood pressure and was recently deemed too weak to undergo shoulder surgery, so it may even be a combination of natural causes and sleep apnea that were what ultimately caused the untimely death of Justice Scalia. However, we’ll just focus on the dangers of sleep apnea here.

Could sleep apnea cause death?

Yes.

This may or may not be one of those cases, but sleep apnea does close off one’s airway to prevent oxygen from coming through. Oxygen needs to keep flowing in and out of airways to keep the body at stable levels and proper function. Repeated nights sleep apnea can cause oxygen desaturation in the body, which can lead to serious heart problems, high blood pressure and mind-numbing fatigue – both physical and mental – just to name a few potential consequences of this ailment that many people overlook.

What are the chances Scalia suffered from sleep apnea?

There is a high probability that Scalia suffered from sleep apnea, but the HuffPo article notes that there was nothing showing that he had treatment for sleep apnea at the time of his death. Now, if he knew that he had sleep apnea and didn’t treat it – that’s one thing, but if he wasn’t aware at all about sleep apnea and just ignored any snoring or daytime fatigue by never checking out the status of his health – that is a little more alarming.

With the presence of his heart problems and high blood pressure combined with his physical traits (being overweight with a large neck), he may have knowingly or unknowingly been gradually killing himself by not seeking treatment. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, the deterioration of sleep quality that develops with sleep apnea can lead to changes in stress hormone levels, weight fluctuation, accelerated aging, and the high blood pressure caused by sub-par levels of oxygen may even lead to a change in blood vessel regulation.

Is it possible to prevent fatal outcomes of sleep apnea?

Yes.

The best way to prevent sleep apnea is to maintain a healthy weight and healthy lifestyle to prevent any airway blockage potential during sleep. If you or your loved one is snoring, go to your personal physician as soon as possible to get it checked out. Ensure that a sleep study is performed to accurately evaluate if sleep apnea is afflicting you or your loved one.

[highlight dark=”yes”]Although the cause of death for Scalia has yet to be determined, whether or not sleep apnea played a part in health should compel everyone to look at sleep apnea through a more serious lens. Health needs to be a priority in life – even if you’re in as powerful a position as Scalia was.[/highlight]

 

Don’t hesitate to contact Breathe Medical at [highlight dark=”no”](866) 535-2727[/highlight] or [highlight dark=”no”]patientcare@breathemed.com[/highlight] if you think sleep apnea might be affecting you or if you have any questions about PAP therapy supplies. We are here to help you.

 

How to Give the Gift of Quality Sleep

When you think of Valentine’s Day, what comes to mind?

Bouquets of expensive roses, chocolates stuffed into heart-shaped boxes, or overwhelming shades of red assaulting your eyes? That’s what might come to mind for most people, but how about we look at why you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day in the first place! Your special someone is the person you want to celebrate and let him or her know that they’re one of the most important people in your life. Besides giving them material gifts, why not give them one of the most invaluable gifts of all – quality sleep for a healthier life?

What’s more important than quality sleep and a healthy lifestyle?

[wp-svg-icons icon=”checkbox-checked” wrap=”span”] If you or your loved one has sleep apnea or you suspect someone might have it, the best gift for Valentine’s Day is to consult a medical professional for an initial sleep apnea diagnosis through a trusted sleep study. If tests show that they have mild to severe sleep apnea, you’ll be referred to a “DME” (accredited durable medical equipment provider) which is where Breathe Medical comes in. We’ll be one of the most important pillars in your support system throughout this sleep apnea treatment and we will guide you through [highlight dark=”no”]mask and machine selection[/highlight], [highlight dark=”no”]usage[/highlight], [highlight dark=”no”]upkeep[/highlight], and [highlight dark=”no”]compliance[/highlight].

It’s going to be your proactive self that initially seeks out help for sleep apnea, but with our team of dedicated patient care coordinators and respiratory therapists, you will be laying the strongest foundation for quality sleep to propel you into a healthier life where you’ll be with your loved one longer than if you ignored the signs of sleep apnea.

Beware: Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Consult your medical profession first if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Snoring, headaches, shortness of breath, abnormally dry mouth, mood swings or irritability, difficulty concentrating or memory loss, abnormal levels of fatigue (mental and physical),  learning difficulties, or sexual dysfunction.
  • Different people may exhibit different symptoms.
  • The important thing is to seek treatment immediately.

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Don’t hesitate to contact Breathe Medical at [highlight dark=”no”](866) 535-2727[/highlight] or [highlight dark=”no”]patientcare@breathemed.com[/highlight] if you think sleep apnea might be affecting you or if you have any questions about PAP therapy supplies! We are here to help you.

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Fibromyalgia and Sleep Apnea Ties?

In the Next Level Wellness Center’s article “Fibromyalgia and Sleep – Is There a Connection?” they explore the possibilities of linkages between fibromyalgia – the disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue with tenderness throughout the body (as defined by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases) – and sleep abnormalities. Since there are overlapping symptoms of both fibromyalgia and sleep apnea, we can explore both diseases further in an attempt to pinpoint if the two can be related in any way.

Since there is no known cause for fibromyalgia, there is no guaranteed cure to tout, but as with any disease, there is always a way for prevention. We can explore the potential causes deeper to see at what extent preventative measures are possible for those worried about being at risk for fibromyalgia. According to the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, this chronic pain disorder produces pain and sensitivity throughout the body that can spread or shift through different regions without warning. This pain can also be sporadic and cease occasionally.

As stated previously, the specific causes of fibromyalgia are [highlight dark=”no”]unknown[/highlight], but it has been linked to stressful or traumatic events and repetitive injuries. More recently,  the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association states new research pointing toward abnormal sensory processing in the central nervous system with physiological abnormalities as contributing to fibromyalgia occurrences. Unlike sleep apnea, where the causes are known, fibromyalgia is harder to pin down. However, the symptoms of these two ailments overlap.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”search-2″ wrap=”h2″] [highlight dark=”no”]How do you know if you have fibromyalgia?[/highlight]

Some of the main symptoms are: [highlight dark=”yes”]trouble sleeping[/highlight], [highlight dark=”yes”]headaches[/highlight] or migraines, [highlight dark=”yes”]problems with thinking and memory or concentration[/highlight], muscle pain, [highlight dark=”yes”]fatigue[/highlight], tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, dizziness, restless legs syndrome, ringing in the ears, and impaired coordination.

[wp-svg-icons icon=”search-2″ wrap=”h2″] [highlight dark=”no”]What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?[/highlight]

Some of the main signs to watch out for are: snoring, daytime drowsiness, [highlight dark=”yes”]headaches[/highlight], [highlight dark=”yes”]memory problems,[/highlight] learning or [highlight dark=”yes”]concentration problems[/highlight], mood swings, irritability, depression, frequent dry or sore throat upon waking up, and general restlessness or [highlight dark=”yes”]fatigue[/highlight] throughout the day due to lack of proper sleep.

 

Beware of the highlighted symptoms!

If you feel like you’re having trouble completing your daily routine because of physical or mental fatigue or new physical ailments, do not ignore these atypical signs. It’d be in your best interest to consult a medical professional if you’re experiencing any or all of the highlighted symptoms to get checked out for fibromyalgia and sleep apnea.

 

Don’t hesitate to contact Breathe Medical at [highlight dark=”no”](866) 535-2727[/highlight] or [highlight dark=”no”]patientcare@breathemed.com[/highlight] if you think sleep apnea might be affecting you or if you have any questions about PAP therapy supplies! We are here to help you with your sleep apnea treatment.