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3 days ago

5 Acid Reflux Medications: Which One is Best for You?

For most of us, a big holiday dinner or a night out on the town with friends sounds like a great idea.

But for the millions of Americans living with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, it sounds more like a recipe for disaster.

Characterized by symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation, GERD is a chronic condition where the acidic contents of the stomach flow back up into the esophagus. This constant backwash of stomach acid irritates the lining of the esophagus, and sufferers are left "feeling the burn."

There are simple changes that patients can make to their diet and lifestyle to help them manage the discomfort of their acid indigestion, according to Dr. Anish She

3 days ago

To sleep or not to sleep.

If Shakespeare had suffered from a sleep disorder, his work might

not have turned out quite so well. He'd have written more like

me--in a state of unfocused, highly distractible drowsiness, and his

affliction undoubtedly would have crept into the speeches of his

protagonists. "To sleep, perchance to dream," a bleary-eyed

Hamlet might soliloquize with a yawn, "Ay, that seems


I'm not a good sleeper. In fact, I sleep very poorly.

Actually, I'm the worst sleeper I know. Most mornings my wife

inevitably chirps, "Did you sleep well?" and I respond to the

question in the words of stand-up philosopher Steven Wright--

4 days ago

Mechanical harvesting of tea in the central and southern African region.

In a 1995 article in Tea International, Pablo Navajas Artaza

described the way in which mechanization of tea cultivation had evolved

over 25 years or so at Establecimiento Las Marias in Argentina. The

changes that were being implemented are now being experienced in several

of the less developed parts of the world, sparking interest in the

mechanical harvesting of tea. The Tea Research Foundation of Central

Africa, [TRF(CA)], organized an important workshop on mechanical

harvesting, held April 8-9, 1999, at Tanganda Tea Company's New

Year's Gift Training Center near Chipinge in Zimbabwe and attracted

almost 100 participants. Atten

1 week ago

Sleep apnea tied to memory problems

The ability to remember locations and directions may suffer when deep sleep is disrupted by breathing difficulties, a new study suggests.

People with sleep apnea tended to score worse on spatial memory tests after sleeping without their breathing aid, compared to mornings after they'd used their breathing aids at night, researchers found.

"There had been some evidence in animal models that REM sleep or dreaming sleep is important for spatial memory, but no one had shown or proven that in people," said Dr. Andrew Varga, the study's lead author from NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

"Spatial memory" helps people remember how to get to their children's schools, or where they left their keys, for example.

It's thought that people may have difficulty forming new spatial memories if their deep sleep and shallow sleep are interrupted, according to Varga.

People with sleep apnea - some 18 million Americans, according to the National Sleep Foundation - experience numerous pauses in breathing that can last from seconds to minutes. As a result, people with sleep apnea are often tired when they wake.

To see whether individuals with sleep apnea tended to have more difficulty forming new spatial memories, the researchers recruited 18 such people to spend two nights in their sleep center, about two weeks apart.

The volunteers had always slept with a so-called CPAP machine to eliminate sleep apnea. During one night in the sleep lab, they slept with CPAP. The other night, their CPAP was reduced or turned off during deep sleep to induce apnea.

On each of the two nights, before they went to bed, participants were asked to complete a video game maze. The next morning, they completed the maze again.

After a night of sleep with their CPAP machine, the time it took the volunteers to complete the maze improved by about 30 percent. They also traveled farther in the maze and spent less time backtracking.

But after a night with sleep apnea, the volunteers were about 4 percent slower at completing the maze, compared to the night before.

"People had no improvement and actually on average they got a bit worse," Varga said. "We interpret that to mean their consolidation in spatial memory wasn't as good when REM (deep) sleep was disrupted."

The researchers can't say whether the worse performance is directly from the disruptions in sleep caused by the apnea, or whether it's the lack of oxygen the condition causes.

Varga said they are testing the apnea or oxygen question now. They are also looking at whether apnea during shallow sleep affects spatial memory.

"The thought is that you need both (deep and shallow sleep)," he said. "If you don't have one or the other, you don't' have the ability to consolidate the information."

Varga said he hopes the results of the study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, will encourage more doctors to treat sleep apnea early - instead of waiting until the condition worsens.

"Apnea is very common and has a variety of deleterious effects that have to do not only with cardiovascular health, but also there is an emerging dataset - of which this paper is only one piece - to suggest there are really cognitive effects also," he said.

1 week ago - CPAP Machines

CPAP Machines, much like CPAP Masks offer a variety of available options including CPAP, Auto Adjusting CPAP (APAP) and BiPAP/BILevel CPAP machines. CPAPs are the most common types of machines and blow a single pressure airstream. APAPs blow a variable pressure stream dependent on the minimal pressure needed to keep user's airways open. Lastly, BiPAPs blow two separate pressure streams, one at inhalation and one at exhalation.

Many CPAP machines provide advanced data in order to track your therapy progress and performance over time. You and your doctor can use this data to make changes in your setup, like changing your mask, or increasing or decreasing your pressure to see if your therapy performance improves and ensure you are getting effective treatment. You can use our CPAP machine compare charts to determine which machines provide advanced data.

2 weeks ago

Archive News & Video for Wednesday, 07 May 2014

Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.

2 weeks ago

Online marketplace offers cheaper CPAP machines without a prescription | Reuters

(Reuters Health) - There is a large market for unauthorized online sales of secondhand continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, which treat obstructive sleep apnea, according to a new study.

Purchased from an authorized vendor through a sleep clinic, a CPAP machine can cost $600 to $2,000 for patients with little or no insurance coverage, the authors write.

"We did not speak directly with sellers or buyers, so we can only speculate on why this market exists, but we suspect that sellers have CPAP machines they no longer use or no longer need, while buyers are unable or unwilling to pay for CPAP through usual methods," said coauthor Dr. Ken M. Kunisaki of Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Minnesota.

In obstructive sleep apnea, the throat muscles relax and block the airway off and on during sleep. The CPAP machine increases air pressure in the throat to prevent the airway from collapsing.

A secondhand CPAP machine may not cause direct medical harm, but patients may be spending their hard-earned cash on a device that is not properly set up for them, without education on proper use, cleaning procedures, troubleshooting, warranty claims, and manufacturer recalls, Kunisaki said.

In October of 2014, the researchers searched Craigslist weekly in 18 U.S. cities and regions including Maine, Detroit and San Francisco for CPAP devices. Then in May of 2015 they placed an ad to anonymously survey CPAP buyers in each region.

There were 270 advertisements for secondhand CPAP devices, with more available in larger cities.

"We only looked at the posted advertisements, so we do not know how many of these resulted in a sale," Kunisaki told Reuters Health by email. "We have not seen any data regarding what percentage of CPAP users are using a secondhand device acquired through one of these online markets."

More than three quarters of ads did not say who had used the device, why it was being sold or its pressure setting. More than half advertised a mask included with the device without information on the age of the mask or how it had been sterilized.

On average, the devices were listed for $291 and most were $500 or less. Only five of the 270 ads mentioned a prescription requirement, as reported in JAMA Internal Medicine.

"Although it is technically illegal to issue a CPAP machine without a prescription, we are not aware of any lawsuits filed against an individual selling their secondhand CPAP device," Kunisaki said. "We did not speak directly to any sellers, but we suspect most are unaware of the legal requirement for a prescription."

The researchers' ads to survey CPAP buyers were flagged as inappropriate posts on Craigslist and removed within 48 hours.

Reputable companies only sell CPAP machines to patients with a prescription, said Joshua Fogel, professor in the department of business management at the Murray Koppelman School of Business at Brooklyn College. For specialized machines, this can cost as much as $3,500, Fogel told Reuters Health by phone.

Secondhand sellers may be selling their machine because it is defective, and would not disclose that information, said Fogel, who was not part of the new research.

"Ideally, (patients) should get a CPAP machine through their doctor's office or durable medical equipment (DME) company, who will then provide education and ongoing support for the CPAP device and supplies," he said.

Patients with little or no health insurance coverage may use programs like the American Sleep Apnea Association's CPAP Assistance Program, a better alternative to consumer-to-consumer sales, he said.

SOURCE: JAMA Internal Medicine, online August 8, 2016.