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Goals of the American Sleep Apnea Association

One of the most beneficial organizations for individuals looking for sleep apnea help or support is the American Sleep Apnea Association or ASAA. The American Sleep Apnea Association is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to lower the instances of disability, injury, and death due to sleep apnea and also to try and enhance the lives of those living with  this disorder.



The ASAA tries to achieve these goals in a variety of ways, including educating people about the disorder and the different ways of combating it, as well setting up sleep apnea support groups, serving as an advocate for those with sleep apnea, and working with health care professionals to try and reach those who have yet to be diagnosed, to let them know that help is out there.

History of the ASAA

The ASAA is based in Washington, D.C., and was founded back in 1990. The organization was actually started by individuals with sleep apnea, as well as researchers and health care professionals with an active interest in the condition. 

ASAA Educational Programs and Measures

The main way that the ASAA informs people about sleep apnea is through the ASAA website, but it uses other media as well, such as pamphlets and brochures. On their website you can find loads of information: not only on sleep apnea, but also on healthy sleeping habits, other sleeping disorders, available treatment options, and even personal stories from actual sleep apnea sufferers. 

For parents who have children diagnosed with sleep apnea or another sleeping disorder, it can be a very scary situation. Luckily, the ASAA is there to provide parents with all of the information they need in order to deal with their child’s disorder.

american sleep apnea associationASAA and Sleep Apnea Testing

One of the American Sleep Apnea Association’s main missions is to help provide information to individuals who may have sleep apnea. Their goal is to try and diagnose those who have the disorder, but have never been properly diagnosed so that they can get the help they need. 

Their website is full of information on testing, as are the ASAA bulletins and newsletters. They also provide a self-diagnostic test for anyone who feels they may have sleep apnea.

The ASAA in Print

Another one of the main ways that the ASAA tries to get their message out about the dangers of sleep apnea and what people can do about it is through their newsletters and bulletins. Their newsletter, entitled Wake-Up Call, contains new research and studies on sleep apnea, as well as information about the organization itself and other groups they partner with. 

For those who are interested in learning more about the ASAA, the current version and previous versions of Wake-Up Call can be downloaded directly from the ASAA website. 

Sleep Apnea Advocacy Programs and Campaigns

american sleep apnea associationThe ASAA Legislative Action Center was the ASAA’s main arm for sleep apnea advocacy, which helps sleep apnea sufferers with the real life problems that they encounter due to their disorder. However, in the past few years the ASAA had to scale back their sleep apnea advocacy services before finally having to shut down the Legislative Action Center indefinitely due to a lack of funding. 

The organization hopes to eventually raise enough donations so that they can re-open this valuable sleep apnea advocacy tool in the future. Nonetheless, they still have other advocacy programs and information for those who may be discriminated against for having sleep apnea. 

 

The ASAA provides information and advice for those who may have been turned down for health insurance, or who have to pay high premiums due to their condition. In addition, the ASAA provides information for employers on the costs of undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea and how it can affect their business. 

 

They strongly encourage employers to have open discussions with their employees about their sleeping habits so that those suffering from sleep apnea can be diagnosed and begin to be treated. Also, they provide information to share with employees about healthy sleeping habits and how they can help employees to be more productive at work

american sleep apnea associationThe ASAA also provides statements on certain problems associated with sleep apnea, such as sleep apnea and driving. Generally, the ASAA acknowledges the risks associated with a lack of sleep and driving, however they are completely against some state’s laws which limit the driving hours for individuals suffering from sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders. 

This is why the ASAA has been working closely with both federal and state agencies, traffic safety organizations, and health care professionals to try and understand better the link between sleeping disorders and driving. 

It is their hope that in cooperation with these other groups, they can finally come up with a comprehensive study regarding this link that new, more precise laws can be based on.

Another issue that the ASAA takes a strong stance on is sleep apnea and the use of anaesthiology due to the increased risk of breathing complications. These risks have been proved by various research studies over time, but the main problem is that most cases of sleep apnea remain undiagnosed. 

This is why the ASAA believes that doctors and surgeons need to ask their patients for more information about their sleeping habits in order to try and avoid these risks. One of the major problems is with general anaesthesia used for surgeries which do not require a hospital stay because the patients may possibly be released before it can be determined whether the anaesthesia will have the effect of worsening the obstructions of the airways. 

The American Sleep Apnea Association’s A.W.A.K.E. Network

The ASAA is one of the major sponsors of the A.W.A.K.E. Network, which is an organization that organizes sleep apnea support groups all across the United States. A.W.A.K.E., which stands for ‘alert, well, and keeping energetic,’ provides help, information, and support for people in 47 different states, and this is made possible in part by the ASAA. These support group meetings are one of the best ways to stay up to date on new research and treatments options for sleep apnea.


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