Los Angeles Sleep Specialist Dr. Dan Naim Provides Tips and Advice for Self-Assessment of Sleep Apnea Risk Factors

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Many people affected with sleep apnea are unaware they have it. Because sleep apnea can lead to many health complications and a premature death, Dr. Dan Naim of the Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute recommends that people educate themselves about risk factors. A new study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association found that treating sleep apnea can also lower the risk of other medical ailments, such as hypertension. Those who are at high risk for the sleep disorder should undergo a sleep study for proper diagnosis and treatment.

A sleep study is the only way to definitively diagnose sleep apnea, and those who have common risk factors should see a physician.

Sleep apnea interferes with life in more ways than disrupting restful slumber. The chronic sleep disorder can lead to a variety of health problems, from high blood pressure and heart disease to memory difficulties and depression. The most common symptoms of the disorder include loud snoring and waking up frequently to gasp for air. Board-Certified Sleep Medicine Specialist Dr. Dan Naim recommends those who frequently snore and feel exhausted most days, even after adequate sleep time, to consider undergoing a sleep study.

Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing while asleep, called “apneas,” which can last up to a minute. The brain signals the body to wake up in order to resume breathing, and usually a person will have no memory of waking up, even if it happens dozens of times per night. The result of this fragmented, disturbed sleep is excessive daytime sleepiness and lowered productivity, leading to an increased risk of hypertension. A 2012 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association showed that hypertension responded positively to obstructive sleep apnea treatment.

“A sleep study is the only way to definitively diagnose sleep apnea, and those who have common risk factors should see a physician,” said Dr. Naim. “People most likely to have sleep apnea are obese, over age 50, and male. However, anyone can have sleep apnea, even children.”

Dr. Naim identifies the following common risk factors for sleep apnea patients which can be determined through using the STOP-Bang questionnaire developed by University of Toronto Anesthesiology Professor Dr. Frances Chung in 2008.

1) Snoring - The most evident symptoms of sleep apnea is snoring. When it is loud enough to be heard through closed doors, it is a strong indicator of obstructive sleep apnea.

2) Tiredness - Those affected with sleep apnea often feel excessively sleepy during the day due to inadequate, restless sleep.

3) Observed apneas - Usually, those who have sleep apnea are unaware that they have the disorder until a bed partner discovers their odd breathing patterns.

4) Blood pressure - Being treated for high blood pressure is another common indicator of sleep apnea.

5) BMI -Those at the highest risk of developing sleep apnea have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more. BMI is a measurement tool to determine whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

6) Age - People over age 50 are more likely to develop sleep apnea.

7) Neck circumference - A neck which measure 40 centimeters around indicates that there may be excess tissue in the throat which further blocks the airway and obstructs breathing at night.

8) Gender - Men have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea than women.

To learn more about sleep apnea and to determine your risk factor, visit http://www.sleepstudyla.com.

About Dr. Dan Naim
Dr. Dan I. Naim is Board-Certified in the fields of Internal Medicine, Sleep Medicine, and Pulmonary Medicine. He completed medical school at the Drexel University College of Medicine and went on to fellowship-training in Internal Medicine at the UCLA-VA Internal Medicine Residency program. Dr. Naim completed a pulmonary and critical care fellowship with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Naim states that his interest in sleep medicine grew as he learned how the role of disturbed sleep could not only impair the quality of someone’s life, but also lead to extensive health problems. His time working in critical care has also shown him how a sleep disorder can lead to hospitalizations in the Intensive Care Unit if the disorder is left untreated. He believes deeply in patient care and education and fostering a partnership with his patients in order for them to achieve the best medical care possible.

About Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute
Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute has a team of highly trained specialists who use the most advanced medical technologies available to effectively diagnose sleep disorders. The team of dedicated professionals treats snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia and other sleep-related problems in a comfortable, professional and friendly environment. To learn more, call (818) 343-1569 or visit http://www.sleepstudyla.com.

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