Thursday, December 17, 2009

Steelers Tell Fans About Sleep Apnea

On Tuesday night some players from the Pittsburgh Steelers went to a local mall to tell holiday shoppers about obstructive sleep apnea.

They signed autographs and talked about the
warning signs for OSA. While waiting in the autograph line fans could complete a brief assessment to see if they might be at risk for sleep apnea.

Steelers cornerback
Deshea Townsend took the assessment himself. After the season ends he plans to go to a sleep disorders center for an overnight sleep study.

At 5 feet 10 inches and 190 pounds, Townsend doesn’t fit the profile of the typical sleep apnea patient.

"A lot of people also think you have to be a certain size, you have to be overweight,” he
said to WTAE Channel 4 in Pittsburgh. “But as you can tell, I am not one of those big guys that looks overweight."

Overweight men do have a high risk of OSA. But sleep apnea also occurs in women and children, and in people who maintain a healthy weight. A
study presented in June at SLEEP 2009 found a high rate of sleep apnea in non-obese adults.

Tuesday’s event was organized by Mike Thompson. He is the general manager of the local ESPN radio station.

Thompson suffers from sleep apnea and uses
CPAP therapy. He said that the benefits of CPAP have been extraordinary.

“I have more energy, more vitality,” he said. “My blood pressure - despite my size - is normal. Since 1992, it changed my life."

The death in 2004 of retired NFL star
Reggie White focused attention on sleep apnea and the NFL. White died at the age of 43. Reports indicate that sleep apnea may have played a role in his death.

In 2007 the NFL and the NFL Players Association began working together to target heart disease and sleep apnea in retired players. In March the Sleep Education Blog reported that OSA is common in retired NFL players.

Are you at risk for sleep apnea?
STOP and find out. You also can answer these questions on to learn more about your risk.

Get help for sleep apnea at an
AASM-accredited sleep center near you.

Image by wstera2

No comments:

Post a Comment