Sunday, November 27, 2011

Marriage problems and sleep apnea

As you probably know by now sleep apnea causes more problems than just being tired. Health problems such as heart disease and diabetes are high on the list as well as relationship problems with your partner.
  • If you are a man with sleep apnea and in a relationship the thought of having erectile dysfunction also may be too much to deal with. Erectile dysfunction is an issue for a large percentage of men whether they have sleep apnea or not. But if you are suffering from this sleep disorder than you should know sleep apnea as an adverse effect on those with ER.
  • Having a healthy sex life can be difficult when you are always tired and if you have sleep apnea chances are you tired most of the time. Besides the ER issues being tired as well as being down or depressed can make it tough to have the intimate relationships that you need with your partner.
  • Depression as mentioned before can put a terrific strain on marriages as well as a strain on your self and unfortunately being tired all the time from sleep apnea makes it even worse. If the depression is severe it might be a good idea to not only go to a sleep doctor but also a counselor who can help you through this time.
  • Sleep apnea might not be the only reason that some couples would get divorced but it certainly could be a major factor.
With all the things that can go wrong while you have sleep apnea it certainly shows that you should consider all treatments that your sleep doctor recommends.
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giving in to sleep apnea

I was first diagnosed with sleep apnea about 12 years ago. I knew that I was a loud snorer because my wife often complained about it although I didn’t know that it was sleep apnea at the time, in fact I wasn’t sure what sleep apnea was exactly. But it wasn’t just the snoring that caused me to seek help I was also very tired during the day. I had other health issues that I thought would be more manageable if I had more rest. So I went for help.
My doctor sent me to a specialist who set up a sleep study for me.  After my first sleep study it was apparent that I did indeed have OSA. I was given a CPAP mask to use and as I have written many times before it didn’t really help much. After the first CPAP disaster I waited about a year or two before trying it again. This time it was with a different doctor who sent me to another sleep study. Once again it was shown that I had sleep apnea and another CPAP (BIPAP) was issued to me. Once again it didn’t work; frustrated I didn’t go back to the doctor for about 2 years.
I guess all in all I have been to at least 5 specialists and 6 sleep studies. After all that I still have sleep apnea but I do know a few things, one the CPAP doesn’t work for me and two I will probably require surgery at some point in the future to correct (hopefully!) my sleep apnea.
The journey with sleep apnea can be long and filled with disappointments but that doesn’t mean that you should just give in entirely. Although I haven’t found the right path to be free of sleep apnea I will continue to look and hopefully you will too.
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mediterranean diet and sleep apnea

Everyone knows that there is a connection between sleep apnea and what you eat, or rather how much you have been eating. A good percentage of sleep apnea sufferers are overweight which makes the problem of sleep apnea that much worse. All of the weight that you gain from over-eating doesn’t end up around your waistline; weight gain is all over your body. Not only will your face look bigger which is bad for sleep apnea you will also increase the size of the tissue in the back of your throat which causes the blockage of air which in turn causes sleep apnea. However not all sleep apnea is connected to weight gain, the shape of your face and the size of your tongue also plays a part. While a proper diet may be completely cure you of obstructive sleep apnea you should definitely consider it. One diet that has been in the news is called the Mediterranean diet which is supposed to help with sleep apnea.
In the past this type of diet has been known to help with other ailments such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The diet consists of fruit, vegetables, fish and low fat proteins. A study from the University of Crete in Greece found that those on this diet, combined with exercise and using a CPAP lowered the number of apneas that they had at night.
While this sounds pretty good I would imagine that any sensible diet along with exercise and the use of the CPAP would also lessen the number of apneas.
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

How many apneic episodes equal sleep apnea?

Before I went to my first sleep study I had no idea if I had sleep apnea or not. My wife thought that something was wrong because my snoring was very loud and strange sounding, more like a grunt than the typical sound of someone snoring. At the time I knew little about sleep apnea other than the fact that it keep you up most of night, and making you feel exhausted during the day. One of the first things that I found out about this sleeping disorder was that the number of times that you wake up from it is a good indicator of how bad your sleep apnea is.
At the sleep study you are attached to many wires that record many things regarding your sleep. One of the main issues is how many times that you will awake in a given hour. This is referred to as apneic episodes, which happen after your breathing stops and you gasp for air which triggers you awake.
If you have had 5 to 15 apneic episodes than your sleep apnea is considered in the mild range, if the number of episodes 15 to 30 then it is considered moderate whereas 30 episodes is severe. I can’t remember what my number was but I believe that it was in the high range.
Of course at a sleep study they check quite a few things out but the number of apneic episodes is one of the most telling findings.
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