The American Sleep Apnea Association Conference Increases OSA Awareness

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – The American Sleep Apnea Association hosted its conference Oct. 24-25 in Baltimore. The conference, titled The Economic and Clinical Impact of Sleep Apnea: A Solutions Conference for Employers and Health Plans, will provide support for businesses to diagnosis sleep apnea and implement programs to help employees.

San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson knows sleep apnea is a difficult and underdiagnosed issue. Dr. Larson is interested in the technology, diagnosis and treatment information shared at the conference. Our staff provides sleep apnea relief and general dentistry to patients who live in San Rafael, Berkeley, Oakland and greater San Francisco.

The ASAA conference featured a keynote address, education presentations and roundtable discussions for attendees at the Sheraton Baltimore City Centre.

“The American Sleep Apnea Association’s 2012 solutions conference will provide action-oriented information to executives and healthcare professionals responsible for decision making on sleep apnea programs for their employees and enrollees.”

Conference presentations included:

  • Undiagnosed, Untreated, Unsustainable: The Economics of OSA
  • OSA Basics & Current Research
  • Data from the New Wave of Employer Fatigue Management and Performance Programs
  • Sleep Surgery: Its Role in the Treatment of OSA
  • Oral Appliance Therapy

Sleep apnea causes sufferers to stop breathing periodically while asleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type, which occurs when your airway is blocked. Your airway includes your nose, mouth, throat and windpipe, and all of these pieces help you breathe normally. A blocked airway can cause snoring while you sleep, and you might wake to choking or gasping for air. But OSA affects more than just sleep.

“People with OSA tend to have high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, depression, sexual dysfunction and annual health care costs two times greater than those without OSA,” according to the ASAA.

The ASAA presenters discussed how sleep apnea affects health, how businesses can benefit from implementing a sleep apnea program, and results-based ideal practices to prevent, diagnose and treat OSA. The conference also helped spread OSA awareness in the workforce.

Dr. Larson takes sleep apnea seriously. He refers most patients to other specialists – either sleep specialists, pulmonologists or ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors – to be sure the entire airway is examined. Some OSA patients can benefit from wearing custom sleep appliances, which keeps the airway open during the night to encourage normal breathing. Our office also provides cosmetic procedures, such as dental veneers, teeth bleaching and laser gum contouring.

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