nonprofit organization founded in 1990 by persons with apnea and concerned health care providers and researchers. The ASAA is dedicated to reducing injury, disability, and death from sleep apnea and enhancing the well-being of patients.
The ASAA promotes education and awareness, research, and the A.W.A.K.E. network of voluntary mutual support groups. As part of its endeavors to increase understanding of sleep apnea, the ASAA fulfills thousands of requests for information from the public each year and answers a multitude of questions about diagnosis and treatment options. The ASAA also works with other nonprofit organizations and societies for health care professionals to reach the undiagnosed. In addition, the ASAA serves as an advocate for people with sleep apnea and helps them live with this disorder.
The A.W.A.K.E. Network plays a crucial role in the ASAA's educational and advocacy efforts. "A.W.A.K.E." is an acronym for "Alert, Well, And Keeping Energetic," characteristics that are uncommon in persons with untreated apnea. Founded in 1988 as a support group for people affected by sleep apnea, the A.W.A.K.E. network is now composed of about 200 groups in nearly all states. A.W.A.K.E. meetings are held regularly and guest speakers are often invited to address the group. Topics may include advice on complying with treatment, legal issues affecting those with sleep apnea, weight loss, treatment options such as oral appliances, and new research findings. The ASAA also publishes the WAKE-UP CALL newsletter, a video, and a brochure that defines the disease, describes its symptoms, and explains the consequences of untreated apnea, together with a simple self-diagnostic test, the ASAA Snore Score. (For contact information, see Appendix I.)
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