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Sleep Apnea Awareness Week is next week          Send a link to a friend

[September 28, 2007]  WILMINGTON, Del. -- The American Sleep Association is preparing for Sleep Apnea Awareness Week, a national event focused on increasing public awareness about this potentially deadly sleep disorder. The event will occur during the first seven days of October.

Local and national members and affiliates of the American Sleep Association will be participating in the event. ASA-affiliated sleep disorder laboratories will be prepared to answer questions from the public about sleep apnea. An online site sponsored by the ASA will feature a unique lecture on sleep apnea each day during the week.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep, caused by a temporary blockage in the throat. Over 5 percent of adults suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Most individuals affected by the disorder are unaware of its presence. Dr. Neil Kline of the ASA states, "Sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents as well as an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and deadly heart rhythms. Yet, it is easily treated once it is diagnosed."

There are a few options available for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Continuous positive airway pressure is the most popular and successful treatment option. A mask placed over the nose delivers air pressure into the throat, preventing the airway from closing during the night. Other treatment options include a custom-made mouthpiece, weight loss and surgery.

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Once treated, individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea often feel significantly more alert and also decrease their risk of heart attacks, strokes and accidents related to excessive daytime sleepiness.

The American Sleep Association is a national organization focused on improving public awareness about sleep disorders, promoting sleep medicine research and providing a portal for communication between patients, physicians, other health care professionals and scientists. The ASA is a member-driven public service project.

For further information about Sleep Apnea Awareness Week, visit or

[Text from file received from the American Sleep Association]

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