Sleep Disorder Week
Sleep apnea is a serious yet treatable condition affecting millions of adults and children each year. It is one of the most rapidly growing health concerns in the world. With apnea, people stop breathing during sleep. In the daytime they are often drowsy, struggling to cope with everyday life. The effects of sleep apnea can come on slowly, making detection difficult. Fortunately, treatment can lead to lowered risk for heart disease and stroke, and improvement in daily lives including better attention and thinking, better mood, better performance in school and lowered risk of drowsy driving.
Through work at the American Thoracic Society and the American Sleep Apnea Association, we hope to improve early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of sleep apnea. Sleep problems are an underappreciated cause of disability by the medical community and the public. Since sleep apnea is treatable, it is an area where education and investigation can make a difference.
Many areas of research in sleep apnea are important. Through the ATS we are particularly interested in research into interactions of the heart with breathing, and neurologic control of breathing in health and disease. Exploration into genetic reasons for sleep apnea is also a priority in understanding people at risk and refining treatment. Further understanding of who gets this problem and how to treat it remain of vital importance. We hope that promoting awareness of sleep apnea for health care providers and patients will lead to recognition and treatment for more people with sleep apnea and longer happier lives for our patients.
Carolyn Welsh, MD
ATS Sleep Apnea PARtner — American Sleep Apnea Association
The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) was founded in 1990 by persons with sleep apnea and concerned health care providers and researchers. The mission of the ASAA is to reduce injury, disability, and death from sleep apnea and to enhance the well-being of those affected by this common disorder. The ASAA promotes education, awareness, research and continuous improvement in care. The ASAA also promotes the A.W.A.K.E. Network which is a network of voluntary mutual-help apnea support groups.
Disclaimer: "The ATS Lung Disease Week Web site is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal medical attention, a diagnosis from a physician, or direct medical care. If you are concerned about your health or that of a family member, please consult your family's healthcare provider immediately. Do not wait for a response from our members, staff or partners."