Is Sleep Apnea Killing Our Athletes?
I wrote a couple weeks ago about new studies that provide a link between obstructive sleep apea and sexual dysfunction. Today I want to talk about another recently uncovered link between sleep apnea and retired athletes.
As this fascinating news story details, sleep apea is a far bigger problem for athletes than many people might expect. Apnea has long been associated with poor general health, diabetes, and obesity, but now a new study suggests that some of our nation’s top physical specimens may also suffer from the same disorder. As the article says:
In the case of sleep apnea, which is cessation of breathing while sleeping, it can lead to high blood pressure and heart failure, stroke, diabetes, sexual dysfunction; and because it promotes a dangerous lack of good sleep, it also is being blamed for many traffic fatalities in this country brought about by drowsy drivers.
“All this came out of a screening the NFL did with older players,” Benirschke says. “Sixty-five percent of people with high blood pressure have sleep apnea. Their airways close, they stop breathing, and some of them have heart attacks.”
Some of the big names linked to sleep apnea include Reggie White, Shaquille O’Neal, and JaMarcus Russell. In countless other cases, this silent killer has likely contributed to early deaths from heart disease or other secondary factors.
The good news: obstructive sleep apnea is a curable problem. As a Los Angeles sinus surgeon, I see many patients each month for apnea-related surgical interventions, typically through a procedure known as a septoplasty. If you snore and find yourself tired even upon waking, you may want to take care of this problem for good. Contact the sinus surgery experts at the Los Angeles Sinus Institute today for an appointment.