Dr. Elliott Alpher’s Special Briefing Educates Members of Congress on Sleep Apnea

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The Alpher Center and Honorary Co-Host Congresswoman Anna Eshoo Furthers Public Awareness on national health crisis: Undiagnosed Sleep and Airway Problems.

Only 15% of airway and sleep disorders are diagnosed so there is a lot more work to do,

Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology was an Honorary Co-Host with Dr. Elliott J. Alpher for a briefing on Tuesday, September 27th on a national health crisis: Undiagnosed Sleep and Airway Problems.

Dr. Alpher of The Alpher Center, and The Sleep and Breathing Academy had a team of clinical and academic experts educated Members of Congress on the sleep and breathing disorders as well as airway health. Innovative compliance technology such as the micro-recorder in oral appliances, which is an evolution of oral devices, the government-chosen mechanism for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) was introduced. Other attendees included staff from the Department of Health Care Finance, Department on Disability Services, and the Department of Health.

"This is an important step to broadening awareness on sleep and breathing disorders and to educate the public and legislators. Only 15% of airway and sleep disorders are diagnosed so there is a lot more work to do,” says Dr. Alpher.

NFL great Roy Green of the St. Louis Cardinals and pilot Bill Weimar shared personal experiences of being treated for sleep apnea and how it saved their lives. The experts who presented were Dr. Neal Seltzer, Dr. Richard Klein, David Gergen, Dr. Dave Singh, and Dr. Kent Smith.

Congresswoman Eshoo supports proposed rulemaking for screening, diagnosing, treating and tracking compliance of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in individuals occupying sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have requested data and information concerning the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in highway, air, and rail transportation, and its potential consequences for the safety of personnel and public.

It is estimated that 20% of accidents are caused by drivers’ inattention and sleepiness, and the occurrence of drowsiness when driving being a major risk factor for dangerous accidents. Chronic excessive sleepiness and sleep-disordered breathing are common in commercial vehicles drivers.

“Pediatricians, orthodontists, primary care professionals, psychologists, ENTs, and other healthcare professionals, as well as the general public need to be aware and understand the emergency situations that exist, and how simple sleep apnea and airway problems are to diagnose and treat,” commented Dr. Alpher.

Dr. Alpher, one of the District’s most experienced specialists in sleep and jaw disorders, on staff at George Washington University Hospital and Georgetown University Hospital, has been known as a leader in the treatment of sleep disorders and jaw pain for 25 years. He has pioneered a conservative, non-invasive approach utilizing computerized and verifiable diagnostic methods to treat TMD, snoring and sleep apnea. This method of treatment has proven to be greatly successful and is highly regarded as the first method of choice by physicians and patients.

Dr. Alpher led a delegation to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Medical Advisory Board (MAB) to introduce the new technology of compliance chips in oral appliances to treat and monitor sleep apnea and snoring of truckers and other transportation personnel. He also earned the status of Diplomate of the American Board of Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Medicine in October 2013 and is an immediate past board member.

Dr. Alpher is a life member of the American Dental Association and the District of Columbia Dental Society. He is also a board member and Diplomate to the Board of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy since March of 2014 and was initiated into The Hall of Fame in 2016. He is also a Contributor to The Huffington Post.

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Lily Mai
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