July 28, 2014

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Patients with OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) are at significantly higher risk for developing hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and sudden death. If this does not get your attention, then nothing will. Personally, I have lost friends that had sleep apnea and would not do anything about it. Some had CPAP machines, but vanity ruled and they did not like the lines on their face from the mask straps, so would not wear the masks.

This video from 'youtube' should make you interested. If your wife, husband or someone you care about is too proud to do something about it, have them watch this video. If they snore, sound like they are gulping for air, wake up with headaches, has trouble staying awake during the day, has bad short term memory, or get confused doing more than one thing at a time, they may have sleep apnea.

After my experiences with sleep apnea before being prescribed a CPAP, I know I was better off after using it for a few days. Most men and many women think they can tough it out and won't do a sleep study. The men think it is not manly to use a CPAP machine while sleeping and many women do not like the lines the straps can leave and vanity takes over for both sexes.

If you need a CPAP and don't want to use it for yourself, at least use it for the ones you love. You might be surprised how restful you are after using it. Also, think of NFL star Reggie White. He decided he didn't need a CPAP machine and he died because of it.

I was having a lot of trouble staying awake when driving and when I had to stop and walk around the car to wake up, my wife always asked if I was getting enough sleep. Fortunately that day we were both seeing the same doctor and my wife mentioned my snoring and what she said was, it was as if I was gasping for air. He said you may have sleep apnea. He went on to examine my wife, and if you guess I went to sleep you would be right. When they woke me up, the doctor said you definitely have sleep apnea and I have scheduled you for a sleep study this evening since the sleep lab has an opening.

When I got to the sleep lab, I was very nervous and it took me a long time to go to sleep. Of course, in the morning they would not tell me anything except the time of my appointment to see the doctor. The next week, I was there for the appointment and was shown lots of graphs and then some statistics which showed that I had 116 apneas per hour for the four plus hours I did sleep, if you could call it that. The graphs showed the length of the apneas with the longest being almost 100 seconds. I don't remember the shortest other than there were a lot of them.

It was not surprising that was why I was tired and sleepy so much of the time. This was back in 2001 and when I took the prescription to the medical supply store, I was carefully fitted for a mask and shown how to use it. I was not shown how to reset the pressure or any other settings on the CPAP machine, as I would be required to bring it in for that. This was done once at about 5 years.

Once I was on Medicare, they required a sleep study and since then, I have received supplies and other replaceable parts covered by Medicare and my supplemental insurance.

No comments: