Pearls of Wisdom

Posts for tag: Sleep Apnea

By Mark T. Brown, MD, FACS
February 13, 2014
Category: Sleep Medicine
Tags: Sleep Apnea   austin   Mark Brown   Texas   Legislation   Sleep   Dentistry   TSBDE  

 

There is a proposed rule change in front of the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) to allow dentists to primarily diagnose and treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea with a physician’s participation. As I state in the letter below, sent to the TSBDE, I am proud to collaborate with dentists in the care of my patients with Sleep Apnea.

 

“The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is considering changes entitled “CHAPTER 108. PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT, SUBCHAPTER A. PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, 22 TAC §108.12” that is a misdirection in the care of Texas Sleep Apnea patients. As a board certified sleep physician, I am in a position to help patients make good decisions regarding their sleep health. I am proud to include dentists in that care. However, dentists are not qualified to be the primary caregivers diagnosing and treating Sleep Apnea. Dental education is not broad enough to make a dentist an expert in the medical complications of sleep apnea. They are able to provide a device, the Mandibular Advancement Device (or MAD), that has limited applicability in sleep apnea therapy. In the right patient the MAD is very beneficial. The number of “right patients” is a small percentage of the whole. My fear is that a dentist will see a morbidly obese patient, determine rightly that the patient has sleep apnea, apply their tool (the MAD) which inadequately treats the patient.. It only takes ONE patient premature death due to poorly treated Sleep Apnea to make this rule change a bad  idea.

 

Please do not pass this rule change. The right answer is to continue to work with the medical sleep community, collaborating to provide good care for patients with Sleep Apnea.”

Mark T. Brown, MD FACS 

 

Dr. Mark Brown is an Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist at Great Hills ENT in Austin, TX. Dr. Brown is Board Certified in both Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery as well as Sleep Medicine. Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.

 

By Mark T. Brown, MD, FACS
November 19, 2013
Category: Sleep Medicine
Tags: Sleep Apnea   sleep lab   Mark Brown   Insomnia  

                                      image courtesy of cheezburger.com

Sleeping Better Really is Important!

One of my favorite scientific article titles is “Dubious bargain: trading sleep for Leno and Letterman.” (Basner MDinges DF.Sleep. 2009 Jun;32(6):747-52.) The premise of the commentary is that people don’t value sleep – they’d rather watch late night TV. The problem lies in when the alarm is set. That part of your day doesn’t have any flexibility. Your job or family responsibilities start on schedule during the week whether you went to bed at 10:00 or at midnight. Those two hours of lost sleep have a real impact on your life.

So the question remains, are Jay Leno and David Letterman worth it? If you ask me, a sleep specialist, the answer would be a resounding NO.  Adults require 7 to 8 hours of sleep to be healthy. In this country we value effort and results to the exclusion of self. It is one of the enduring reasons why the US is the strongest and largest economy in the history of the world. We use the Edison approach; working harder and longer brings reward. And it does. But if you are not rested and ready for those longer hours your productivity suffers.

So is late night TV worth it? I think not. Not if you are trying to conquer the world. Think about your health and success then next time you are flipping on the TV instead of flipping off your brain to go to sleep. Most of the time the late night chuckles don’t profit you as much as a few more hours of shuteye.  

Mark T. Brown, MD

Dr. Mark Brown is an Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist at Great Hills ENT in Austin, TX. Dr. Brown is Board Certified in both Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery as well as Sleep Medicine. Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.