Your Wake Up Call

Your wake up call:  snoring is a common problem that can sometimes be more than simply an annoyance for the spouse trying to sleep next to you.  In many cases, snoring is a sign of a much more serious medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  Lately, it sure seems that everyone is being diagnosed with sleep apnea.  It must have been an undiagnosed epidemic for decades.

  Here are some excerpts from a Mediaplanet article in the Chicago Tribune.  Sleep apnea is a chronic, progressive disorder that can disrupt breathing as often as 40 to 60 times an hour or more throughout the night.  In addition to leading to oxygen deprivation, it induces changes in cardiovascular function and prevents patients from entering the deep stages of sleep.  Sleep deprived, sleep apnea sufferers often feel lethargic, may experience weight gain, hypertension, poor concentration, irritability, depression, and sexual dysfunction.  Yikes!

Sleep apnea is often treated with a combination of the following: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP machines), dental devices, minor surgical procedures, weight loss, or not sleeping on your back.  The most impotant thing is to recognize the above symptoms and see your physician for a diagnosis rather than ignoring them or mistaking them for something else.  Dr Philip Cole and Dr Robert Stanford  708-460-3040