THE BLOG
06/28/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Sleep Apnea: The Not So Silent Killer

If you or your sleep partner snores, you may be suffering from a more serious and potentially life threatening health issue--sleep apnea. Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans: 90-pecent of which do not even realize they suffer from this condition.

What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by a reduction or pause of airflow (breathing) during sleep. This disruption in your natural breathing pattern triggers the body to violently awaken itself with a rush of adrenaline. Essentially, the cardiovascular system is shocked into awakening the sleeper to prevent damage to the body or more importantly, death.

This disruption in an individual's breathing pattern can happen several times during the night and episodes can actually stop someone from breathing for several minutes. Most people who suffer from sleep apnea do not remember the episodes, but it can result in daytime exhaustion. With so many people unaware of their condition, this can lead to years of sleep deprivation.

Effects of Sleep Apnea
Many of my patients report health, social and professional problems associated with exhaustion. But feeling tired and lackluster is not the only medical concern for my patients; there are many primary health concerns associated with sleep apnea. The traumatic sleep apnea episodes negatively affect the heart which is why many individuals who suffer have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and arrhythmias. Sleep apnea can also cause sleep deprivation which many believe is a leading cause of auto-related accidents.

Even if you are not diagnosed with sleep apnea, mild and chronic snoring can be equally harmful to you and certainly detrimental to your sleeping partner's health.

Effects of Snoring
Like sleep apnea, snoring also disrupts the normal breathing pattern during the night, limiting chances for a healthy sleep process. While most people don't think of snoring as problematic, it affects millions of Americans, especially people who are overweight or over 50 years of age.

Many of my patients have expressed how their snoring negatively impacts their personal lives or how this condition has even impacted their relationship with their significant other. Individuals who snore often awake feeling tired and fatigued and in order to achieve a healthy and restorative night's rest one must get the proper amount of both deep sleep and REM (dream state) sleep to reenergize the body.
So what are my treatment choices? My first recommendation is to see your neurologist or a sleep specialist. After you have been properly diagnosed you can then address your specific problem.
If you are diagnosed with severe sleep apnea you may be required to use a CPAP (Continues Positive Airway Pressure) device. This machine opens up the person's airway during sleep by a constant flow of pressurized air into the throat. This prescribed treatment is generally preferred over a more invasive surgical treatment.

However if your sleep apnea is mild or if you are one of the millions of American's like me who snore, then there is a cost effective and affordable answer for you (and your partner). The Sona "Stop Snoring" pillow is the only medically tested, and FDA cleared registered medical pillow designed to treat mild sleep apnea and to help prevent snoring. This patented technologically advanced pillow not only will assist in treating your mild sleep apnea and snoring issue, but it will also help you achieve a more restorative nights rest.

I designed the Sona Pillow to encourage a more natural and comfortable sleeping position. The pillow will reposition the jaw and assist in the opening of your airway to help you breathe more freely and get a great night's sleep.

As a practicing neurologist and sleep expert I have treated a number of patients who suffer from both sleep apnea and snoring. The Sona Pillow has been used by thousands of my patients along with tens of thousand more consumers who have raved about the effectiveness of this pillow.
Dr. Najeeb Zuberi is a neurologist and sleep expert as well as the inventor of the Sona Pillow. For information on the Sona Pillow, visit www.sonapillow.com.

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