a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 

Week: 609.2

Guest: Prof. Edward Bixler, Penn State Hershey Medical School

Topic: Treating sleep apnea

Host/Producer: Steve Girard

NEMA: The cure for sleep apnea....coming up...

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NEMA: Sleep apnea, where we stop breathing repeatedly as we sleep, wakes us up and decreases the oxygen in our blood...and can lead to hypertension and heart disease. Professor Edward Bixler of the Penn State Hershey Medical School says the most serious form occurs among men younger than 45. Among the symptoms are daytime sleepiness and snoring...

BIXLER: The bottom line from this is that if someone has the symptoms of sleep apnea, and they’re young, this should be treated much more aggressively than in the older population. That’s not to say you shouldn’t treat the older population, it’s just that you should be more aggressive with the young.

NEMA: Bixler says obesity is the biggest underlying cause...

BIXLER: If you lose weight, you will improve your...or you can eliminate the sleep apnea, and/or snoring...just by simply losing weight. So, weight is a factor for sleep apnea. Weight is also a direct factor for hypertension. Sleep apnea and overweight in combination is a stronger...you have a stronger risk for hypertension than just either one alone.

NEMA: If you suspect you suffer from sleep apnea, see your doctor right away. I’m Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.