Sleep Disorders & Sleep Apnea


SLEEP DISORDERS AFFECT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE EACH YEAR, AND SLEEP APNEA IS ONE THAT IS RELATIVELY COMMON. BUT, YOU MIGHT HAVE TROUBLE KNOWING IF YOU HAVE IT BECAUSE IT HAPPENS WHILE YOU ARE ASLEEP. DOREEN GENTZLER HAS SOME HELP. DEMONSTRATES SNORE. THAT IS WHAT SOMEONE WITH SLEEP APNEA SOUNDS LIKE, TRYING TO GET AIR. DR. STEVEN SHCARF, DIRECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SLEEP DISORDERS GAVE US A DEMONSTRATION. “THESE APNEA EPISODES CAN LAST ANYWHERE FROM 10 SECONDS TO 2 MINUTES.” BUT YOU MAY NOT EVEN KNOW YOU HAD ONE. IT DOESN’T ALWAYS WAKE YOU UP. BUT IF YOUR SLEEP QUALITY IS POOR OR YOU’RE EXHAUSTED THE NEXT DAY, IT’S WORTH FINDING OUT. SLEEP APNEA CAN BE A MAJOR RISK FACTOR FOR SOME SERIOUS MEDICAL PROBLEMS “HEART DISEASE, HEART ATTACKS, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. DIABETES. EVEN CANCERS.” THE FIRST STEP IN TREATING IT IS – DIAGNOSIS. “FIRST TIME FOR A SLEEP STUDY?” MARIONETTE DAVIS IS BEING STUDIED FOR APNEA AT THE SLEEP DISORDERS LAB – NOT EVERYONE NEEDS TO PARTICIPATE IN A SLEEP STUDY TO BE DIAGNOSED. THERE ARE AT HOME TESTS AND YOU CAN MAKE A RECORDING OF YOUR SLEEP IF YOU LIVE ALONE AND THEN TAKE IT TO YOUR DOCTOR. PEOPLE WHO ARE OVERWEIGHT, OVER 50 AND HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE ARE AT HIGHER RISK. AND SLEEP APNEA IS MORE COMMON AMONG MEN THAN WOMEN. “SO FAR, SO GOOD, I DO LIKE THE MACHINE, I DO LIKE THE FACT THAT I CAN CALIBRATE IT WHEN I NEED TO.” DR. SAMSON ASSEFA SPEACIALIZES IN SLEEP APENA CASUED BY OBESITY AND TREATS GREGORY BLACKSTONE, THE MACHINE GREGORY IS REFERRING TO IS THE CPAP – KNOWN AS THE CONTIUOUS POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE. MARIONETTE DAVIS IS STILL WAITING ON THE RESULTS FROM HER SLEEP STUDY AND SHOULD KNOW CONCLUSIVELY IF SHE HAS SLEEP APNEA BY NEXT WEEK. SHE CAN THEN MAP OUT A COURSE OF TREATMENT WITH DOCTORS. IN ADDITION TO THE C-PAP MACHINE, THERE ARE OTHER FORMS OF TREATMENT. SURGERY CAN HELP WITH SLEEP APNEA IN VERY SEVERE CASES. DIET AND EXERCISE HAS BEEN KNOWN TO HELP THOSE WITH MILDER SYMPTOMS.

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