Updated: Jan 6
Taking on the challenge of children's airway health prevention and education is a massive undertaking. In an effort to assist us in our task, we have engaged with three other groups who are also advocates for children's airway health.
In our blog series Working Together, we will be introducing you to each of the groups and foundations we are partnering with to help the more than 400-million children around the world currently experiencing some sort of preventable or treatable airway disorders.
Working Together: SLEEP EDUCATION CONSORTIUM
The Sleep Education Consortium is dedicated to providing educational opportunities for medical professionals and the general public on sleep and sleep disorders.
The field of Sleep Disorders Medicine has evolved extensively over the past twenty years, but unfortunately, there is a significant lack of education and awareness amongst most health care professionals. In a study published in 1993, all 126 American Medical Schools were surveyed to determine how much time is spent teaching medical students anything on the topic of sleep or good sleep hygiene: researchers found that on average only two hours are spent on the topic of sleep during the four years of medical school.
It is also now recognized that obstructive breathing during sleep, which causes snoring, is interrelated to the jaw and tongue position during sleep. Movement of the jaw can either help or hinder the breathing process. Many patients who grind and clench their teeth at night do so in an attempt to help keep the airway open and prevent obstructive respirations. Treatment devices for patients with obstructive Sleep Apnea consist of dental appliances that maintain the mandible in a forward position during sleep and help with breathing.
One of the main goals of the Sleep Education Consortium is to provide continuing medical education (CME) courses for physicians that will help them identify and treat patients with the most common of sleep disturbances. Additionally, public education is clearly necessary in order to motivate the primary care physicians who have to address their patient's health questions. Enhancing the education of the general public on sleep problems and the principles around good sleep hygiene will also help achieve the overall goal of the Sleep Education Consortium by creating a more educated population base, which will then bring their questions and concerns to their primary care physician.
You can find out more about The Sleep Education Consortium on their website. We are honored to be working alongside them in our fight for healthy airways for all children.