It’s a relatively young area with a deficit of approximately 200 Specialized doctors in United States and around 20 doctors with the appropriate training in Mexico. The study of this discipline starts in 1969 with the first snoring reports and in 1980 the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapeutic option was incorporated giving this specialty the momentum it needed.
Snoring is NOT NORMAL, some people have Apneas (they can’t breathe for 10 seconds or more) or Hypopneas (a 30% decrease airflow followed by desaturation) and depending on the number of events a Apnea-Hypopnea Index is given. It’s estimated that 30% of men and 9% of women snore.
The consequences of OSA (obstructive sleep apnea syndrome) are important since it’s the first treatable case of Systemic Hypertension (according to the last report for treating Systemic Hypertension), in spite of this, almost no doctor asks if the patient snores. We must know that non controlled OSA causes PAH (Pulmonary arterial hypertension), brain and cardiac events, excessive daytime sleepiness. The DMV in California is very strict under these cases and has the ability to take away the OSA patients drivers license because of multiple car accidents, making it comparable with drunk driving.
Not having the control with a diabetic patient can be secondary to non controlled OSA and arrhythmias decrease in surgical procedures on controled patients, there are reports of a better control for Systemic Hypertension in patients with pre-eclampsia.
With the first patients treated, the economic impact was proved because of reduced absenteeism and a better performance in work, as well as preventing several cardiovascular and cerebral complications and a better control for systemic hypertension, arrhythmia, diabetes, etc.
Adequate Care by the Doctor
We increasingly see patients that were treated because of their “snoring” by an inadequate doctor, after 2 or 5 years they suffer the same or a greater illness than before.
It is very important that the sleep test, either portable or in a clinic, is inspected and signed by a certified specialized doctor in sleep disorders. This way we can assure the study complies with the guidelines of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. A test not inspected by a certified specialist is of bad quality and in some cases not valid.
It’s because of this sleep clinics are created, as well as sleep disorder specialties, in other words if you have a heart problem you see a cardiologist in case of a sleep disorder you need a Certified Specialized Sleep Disorder Medic.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine creates guidelines for these studies and societies that help create awareness for these illnesses like the National Sleep Foundation, American Sleep Apnea Association and recently the Latino american Association for Sleep Apnea.