Sleep Apnea – do you have it?
Jeffrey Friedman, Total Health Solutions, New Orleans LIVING WELL Magazine (formerly SENIOR Magazine)
Do you wake up feeling like you didn’t sleep the night before or found yourself dozing off during the day or, even worse, while driving? Are you told you snore or wake up gasping for air? If so, you could be suffering from a medical condition known as sleep apnea which occurs when your airway collapses as you fall into a deep sleep. Since your body’s response to the collapse is to “wake you up,” which happens numerous times per hour, this leads to fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness.
If you think you could have sleep apnea, you should discuss your concerns with your physician. Your physician may then refer you a specialist in sleep disorders. If, after the initial consultation, your physician suspects that you may have sleep apnea, you will be referred for a sleep study. This study is performed overnight in a comfortable bedroom environment by trained technicians who monitor your breathing patterns throughout the night. The results of the study will determine if you have sleep apnea. If you do, the most common treatment is to put you on a sleep apnea machine to use nightly which is called a “CPAP.” A trained respiratory therapist will set your CPAP for the prescribed air pressure that will help treat your sleep apnea. The therapist will show you how to use your CPAP, fit you with a comfortable mask, and will be available to answer your questions to help ensure your success with the CPAP therapy.
In addition to fatigue, untreated sleep apnea can cause elevated blood sugars, increase the risk of stroke, contribute to high blood pressure, and can even cause death. However, when properly treated with a CPAP, it is possible to decrease or eliminate these potential risks and significantly increase your energy level which leads to an overall improvement in your quality of life.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, contact your physician today. Total Health Solutions is located at 3211 N. Causeway in Metairie and can assist you with all of your CPAP and supply needs. Call us at 504-834-8114.