Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sleep Apnea Prevention

What a cool morning!  The morning snow storm was a nice surprise, especially since it didn't result in any missed school.  I understand there is some debate about whether Howard County should have reconsidered, but I think they made the right decision.  Had there been a delay, the kids would have headed to school at the worst point of the storm.  And it was pretty much gone by the time school let out.  It sure was a nice snow.


I'm loving my new Jeep.  A few months ago, I bought a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and traded in my 10 year old Jeep Liberty.  The Liberty was a reliable vehicle, and it was more than adequate in the snow, but the Wrangler is so much better.  It has been a great Winter for testing it out, and keeps proving it is great in the snow.  I'm really pleased.  I have always wanted a Wrangler, and while I never considered the Unlimited (which is a four-door), I think the extended wheel base allows for better handling.  The thing is like a tank in the snow.  It is very big inside, too.  My daughter loves it, too, especially after getting stuffed into my little Mazda 2-seater.  I'm looking forward to the summer weather now so I can ride around topless (the Jeep, not me).


Today I received my CPAP machine for my sleep apnea.  I've been looking forward to this for a couple of months, after having to reschedule twice.  I did a sleep test just before Christmas, and was diagnosed with sleep apnea.  The 2nd sleep test was with the machine, and it helped me a great deal.  So now I'm ready.  The technician showed me how to work the machine, then asked me about the results of my sleep test.  I told him I had never actually seen the results.  I had spoken to the technician who monitored the test over the phone, but I didn't get the details.  There are three types of sleep apnea:  obstructive, central, and mixed.  The technician told me that I have mixed sleep apnea.  He said my doctor will likely have me come in for an exam, and an appointment with a neurologist.

The American Sleep Apnea Association describes sleep apnea " an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs while the patient is asleep.  Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences:  high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression and other ailments."  Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes while sleeping.  In Central sleep apnea, the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, but there is no airway blockage.  Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of the two.  In all cases, sleep is fragmented and poor.

The CPAP machine (which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) provides a continuous flow of oxygen through a mask worn over the nose or mouth.  The air pressure keeps the airway clear of obstructions and results in air getting into the body.  The result for me should be no stoppage of my breathing, and a better night of sleep.

This has been a problem for me for quite a few years.  I'm very happy to finally have a diagnosis and confirmation, though I am just a bit scared due to the neurological portion of the condition.  My research suggests that there may be a connection between the Central sleep apnea and Parkinson's Disease.  The sooner I find out, the better.

Have a great evening, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for giving the information. I would like to tell that I too have recently undergone a treatment of sleep apnea which helped me a lot in stopping my snoring problem.
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