Catching the Culprit: Sleep Apnea

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For many years, I criticized my mother for her horrendous snoring. She literally sounded like a large man howling when she went to sleep. She would go to bed much earlier than I would. She would wake up much later, also. Our rooms were right next to each other. This affected my sleep because she would wake me up in the morning with her snoring and make it hard for me to fall asleep.

Due to the recommendations of friends, she went to a sleep specialist. This specialist told her that she stopped breathing for ten to fifteen times an hour for thirty-three seconds at a time on average each time she went to sleep. She was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Apnea is a disorder in which a person's airway is blocked repeatedly throughout their sleep and often causes snoring and fatigue. Many people with sleep apnea are often tired and overweight.

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I believe this is an important topic to study because the percentage of people with sleep apnea is growing each year as obesity rates go up. Most people that have sleep apnea are not aware of it, so it is important to be educated on it. Also, sleep apnea is positively correlated with strokes. In addition, it negatively affects a person's health and can lead to an earlier death. However, I still wonder, how can a person become aware of their sleep apnea without their family and friends' evaluations?

Thankfully, there are ways to help people with sleep apnea if you know you have it. Many wear a mask that forces air into the person's airway at night. There is also a retainer-like device that can correctly realign the wearer's jaw to open the airway during sleep. My mother wears this device at night and does not snore anymore. She has successfully reported to her doctor that she no longer feels fatigue in the day and has lost a significant amount of unnecessary weight. Others can be helped, also, if they are aware of this important topic.

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This page contains a single entry by laven035 published on October 5, 2011 9:02 PM.

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