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Sleep Apnea: New Treatments, More Children Patients

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Sleep apnea is a condition that causes sufferers to stop breathing for brief periods of time while they are asleep. The condition can lead to other health problems and prevent the sufferer from feeling rested or getting enough sleep. While there are many medications used to treat sleep apnea and machines that help sufferers get the oxygen they need if they do stop breathing in their sleep, medical science is always looking for better treatments.

Los Angeles sleep apnea doctor, Dr. Bijan Afar has come up with a few innovative methods that he believes will help sleep apnea sufferers. He recommends using snore guards and sleep apnea mouthpieces to help prevent sleep apnea. Dr. Afar relies on periodontology and oral implantology to treat sleep apnea and believes that lifestyle changes are just as important as treatment.

One of the most beneficial life style changes is diet. People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea and a recent study shows that obese children are likely to suffer from it as well. Obesity can lead to sleep apnea because obese people tend to have more fat around their neck which can cause airway obstruction.

“In the past we used to see predominantly preschool-age children who had large tonsils and large adenoids, that was the basis for their obstructive sleep apnea,” said Dr. Sherri Katz, who is also a principal investigator for CHEO’s Research Institute.

“As time goes on we are seeing a second wave of children with obstructive sleep apnea, predominantly over the age of eight, where obesity is the major factor contributing to their sleep disorder.”

The recent increase in childhood sleep apnea and obesity is alarming and many hospitals and clinics are struggling to provide testing to all of the patients waiting to be diagnosed or treated.

Children who suffer from sleep apnea at a young age are likely to suffer from it as adults as well. Doctors like Afar are working to create treatments that offer faster results and urge people who are overweight to consider dieting so they are less likely to suffer from the condition.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Sleep Apnea: New Treatments, More Children Patients
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