Medical Study on Athletes in Football Reveals Bombshell About Snoring and Heart Health

In what comes as not the most surprising news but significant nonetheless, a recent medical survey showed young male athletes in their late teens who play rugby or American styled football demonstrated distressed sleeping patterns, and a dramatically higher risk for heart attacks than the average middle aged man.

The reason I’m not shocked by this news is because I have long suspected a link between body mass, neck size, activity level, and snoring/sleep apnea.

This is why NFL Hall of Fame tackle Reggie White passed away, heart problems likely exacerbated by sleep apnea relaated to his being “a big guy”, and probably the decreased activity level once he retired from professional football.

Harvard medical doctors have long reported that being overweight or obese is the biggest risk of all when it comes to snoring, as well as heart disease and diabetes. This is why truck drivers, who themselves have higher rates of obesity, also find themselves getting a CPAP.

Football and Rugby Players at Higher Risk

Sleep apnea and snoring work similarly- your airway gets blocked and your lungs cannot get sufficient air. This leads to stopping breathing several times a night while you sleep. For severe apnea patients, this can mean more than 100 apnea episodes a night.

The chin and jaw sink backwards into the throat, cutting off airflow and initiating an episode of snoring or sleep apnea. The bigger the neck, the more neck fat there is, the more risk there is for snoring and potentially stopping breathing during the night to never regain consciousness again.

The cumulative effect over time is the greater potential for heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, and premature death. Since most of America is either overweight and almost 33% are technically obese, you can understand why so many millions of people have a snoring problem, if not sleep apnea.

Is CPAP the best choice for Snoring and Sleep Apnea

  The doctors at Harvard said that if people were to lose just 10% of their body weight, then the majority of these heart problems related to snoring would simply go away.

Since we already know most people aren’t going to do that, here’s what we do know.

Over half of all people that get a CPAP end up quitting and not using it, not because they no longer need it, but they find the process to be uncomfortable or inconvenient. And this is how they found Reggie White when he had passed, in his bed with his CPAP lying next to him, not in use.

What about the People who use their CPAP Every Night?

Some people report back that CPAP is the best thing that’s ever happened to them. Maybe it is, since most of them will refuse to change their diets and exercise regimens- or begin one.

But maybe, just using a machine that forces air down your throat at night isn’t really solving the problem, but is instead making you more comfortable as you head into the golden years where bodies that weren’t taken care of start to break down at a rapid pace.

In addition to this, aside from weight loss which of course is the most important aspect in the majority of snoring and sleep apnea cases, there are alternatives out there to CPAP like mouthpieces and mouthguards.

Most people with snoring could do well to check out some stop snoring mouthpieces, cut down on the sugary drinks, and get outside for a walk or a run 2 – 3 times a week for starters.

Other Risk Factors in Snoring and Sleep Apnea

  Other factors that play a role in people stopping breathing during their sleep is alcohol and drugs- even the prescribed ones. But usually, when you hear a news story about some young celebrity dying a tragic death before their time, it usually involves alcohol, xanax, and painkillers.

So it’s good to keep all that in mind as well.

The most important thing to do in my opinion (this is not medical advice): understand the risk factors and address them one by one without becoming dependent on a machine to force air down your throat.

I realize we live in a time where if people want to lose weight, they might try to get lap band surgery to eliminate the ability to eat more than a few bites at a time, but when you can simply exercise self-control and get on with a free and independent existence, why wouldn’t you make the simple and best choice?

Understanding the Different Types of Sleep Apnea Surgery for Eliminating Snoring

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an illness characterized by a repetitive and intermittent narrowing of the airway when one is sleeping. Treatment of OSA using surgical therapies aim to enhance airway patency by addressing specific part(s) of obstructions. Since various areas may each be responsible for the narrowing, several surgical modalities have been developed as well.

Introduction to Sleep Apnea Surgery

 
Surgery can be a multi-step procedure that involves more than one process. It is essential to follow up frequently with your physician after surgery.

An Overview of the Various Sleep Apnea Surgeries for Snoring

 
1. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPP)

It is a type of soft palate procedure that targets the back and top part of your mouth. It entails repositioning and removing excess tissues in the throat to widen the airway. The surgeon may trim down the uvula and soft palate, remove tonsils and reposition the soft palate muscles.

Although UPP is one of the most common types of sleep apnea surgery, the procedure is unlikely to cure severe apnea. However, it may be combined with different surgeries which target other sites for optimal results.

2. Radiofrequency Volumetric Tissue Reduction (RFVTR)

RFVTR is a treatment procedure for individuals with mild to moderate sleep apnea symptoms. It makes use of measured cauterization to tighten and shrink the tissues located in and around the victim’s throat. It can be applied to the tonsils, tongues, and soft palate.

3. Genioglossus Advancement

The tongue may block the space for breathing in the throat during sleep. So, this surgery process helps to move forward the main tongue attachment, thereby opening up space for breathing. It involves cutting a section of the lower jaw where the tongue is attached. The procedure is effective when done appropriately.

As you begin to see, a lot of this surgery involves removing parts of your body, trimming things so-to-speak, and many people report that corrective surgery simply is not worth the long term side effects vs. its efficacy. In other words, is the surgery worth it? Does it work to make life easier for you?

For less invasive corrective measures for snoring and mild sleep apnea, visit http://copeministries.org

4. Lingualplasty and midline glossectomy

lingual plasty sleep apnea surgeryThese surgery options involve removing the back of the tongue. In doing so, the tongue becomes smaller in size and hence does not block the flow of air among people with sleep apnea.

5. Hyoid Suspension

This procedure widens the breathing space within the lower part of the throat. The U-shaped bone in the neck called the hyoid bone provides a base support to the tongue and other structures of the throat including epiglottis.

Hyoid suspension entails pulling forward the hyoid bone and securing it in place. So how does Hyoid suspension for sleep apnea compare to the other surgeries? It is seen as generally less effective.

6. Turbinate Reduction and Septoplasty

These surgical procedures open up the nasal passage to enhance the air flow. On one hand, Septoplasty straightens a deviated nasal septum or a bent (a divider which separates the two sides of the nose). While on the other, Turbinate reduction removes or reduces curved structures which stick out from the side of the nose. Also, medication can help reduce turbinate size.

How Deviated Septum and Blocked Nasal Airways Aggravate Snoring and Sleep Apnea

 
A deviated septum arises when the septum is moved to one side of the nose. A septoplasty surgery takes between 30 – 90 minutes to complete. You will be under anesthesia, depending on what the doctor decides.

Typically, the surgical procedure for deviated septum involves the following steps:

Step 1 – Anesthesia
Step 2 – The incision
Step 3 – Mucosal lining separation
Step 4 – Deviated septum correction
Step 5 – Closing the incision
Step 6 – See the results