Improve Your Golf Game - Treat Your Sleep Apnea

Friday, January 17th, 2014, 8:29 pm

Think a new set of clubs will improve your golf game? Maybe a sleep study would be a better investment in your game. Getting treatment for sleep apnea has been shown to improve golf scores!

Obstructive sleep apnea is fairly common but most patients have not been diagnosed, leaving them vulnerable to serious health risks. Obstructive sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing during sleep and has been linked to heart attack, stroke and premature death. A very small study has also shown that it affects your golf game.

The researchers looked at 12 golfers who had moderate to severe sleep apnea and compared them with 12 people who did not have the disorder. The golfers with sleep apnea were treated for an average of six months with a CPAP machine (a small air compressor and face mask that is worn during sleep). The group that didn’t have sleep apnea had an average handicap of 12.2 and by the end of the study, and 20 rounds of golf, their average was 12.6. The group that was treated for sleep apnea moved from an average handicap of 12.4 at the beginning to an 11.0. The best players treated for sleep apnea started with an average of 9.2 and got down to a 6.3 at the end, a 31% improvement.

Treatment you can tolerate -

The researchers looked at golf scores because it requires the type of skills that treating sleep apnea can improve. “We know that the cognitive parameters – vigilance, attention span, memory – people with sleep apnea do poorly on these tests and improve with treatment,” said the lead author of the study. Sleep apnea is more common in men over 40 and women over 50 years of age. It is estimated that 18 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. The study authors point out that while adherence to CPAP therapy is usually low (40-70%), for this study the participants used the machine more than 91% of the nights.

If you want a treatment for sleep apnea that has a higher compliance rate and that is highly effective, without fighting with masks and hoses, try an oral appliance. Oral appliance therapy effectively treats sleep apnea by using a small, comfortable mouthpiece.

Find out if you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439.

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Category: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), sleep apnea

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