Aug 122017

My Friday Morning Coffee Post is coming out a day late due to the fact that I spent Thursday night and Friday morning with my husband in the ER.  It is frightening to wake up to see your husband struggling to breathe and not know what is going on or how to help, and trying not to panic.  Trouble breathing, tightness and tingling in the body, unbalanced, paleness were some of the symptoms going on.  The ambulance arrived and off to the hospital we go.  My son and I arrive behind the ambulance, but we couldn’t see him until he was evaluated and assigned a room in the ER.  So we sat in the waiting room and we waited, and we waited, finally some 4 hrs later he was assigned a room and I sat with him.  Tests were run and more waiting.  Tests came out OK.  The doctor thinks what happened was related to Sleep Apnea.

Let me tell you, Sleep Apnea is a scary thing.  I sat there and watched my husband sleep in the hospital bed.  10, 15, 30, sometimes 45 seconds would go by and he did not take a breath, then he would gasp for air.  To see the body struggle so hard to take a breath is, quite frankly, shocking.  His body is sending him a very serious message.  Time to take this seriously and do something about it.

Here is some information on Sleep Apnea.  I want to share this and express my deep concern about this issue.  Most people don’t even realize they have Sleep Apnea because this happens when a person is sleeping.  So check it out and don’t let this happen to you because nobody wants to end up in the ER or worse not breathe.  How much can the body take before it just stops trying to take a breath.

Sleep Apnea is pretty common, and a very serious sleeping problem.  When you are sleeping, your sleep is paused, or interrupted and you don’t breathe.  This can last for several seconds into minutes, then the body struggles and gasps for air.  This makes for very poor quality of sleep and taxes your body.

From the research I have done there are 2 kinds of Sleep Apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea  – this is the more common one, it is caused by a blockage of the airway that results in paused breathing and snoring.

Central Sleep Apnea – this is rare and it involves the central nervous system.  The brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing.  People usually do not snore with this type because nothing is blocked.

I am focusing more on Obstructive Sleep Apnea because that is the very common one and it is the one my husband has.

The major warning signs of Sleep Apnea are:

Loud snoring, generally every night

Struggling, almost like choking or gasping for air

Pauses in breathing that last several seconds or more

Waking up in the night and being short of breath

Day time fatigue, feeling tired all the time, perhaps falling asleep easily during the day

Who is at RISK?

Anyone can be affected by Sleep Apnea, but you have a higher risk if you are:

Male

Overweight

A Smoker

Having a large neck, usually 16 inches or greater

 

If you think you may have Sleep Apnea, go to the doctor, get advice, research, just do something about it.  There are many treatment options out there and your doctor can advise you or send you to a sleep doctor.  A sleep doctor will monitor your sleeping and determine how much oxygen your body is getting or not getting due to Sleep Apnea.  Then you can decide about treatment options.

For Obstructive Sleep Apnea some options are:

CPAP – Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure – this is a machine with a mask that covers your nose and mouth.  It forces a continuous flow of air to keep your breathing passages open and you breathe consistently.

Other breathing devices

Dental devices

Surgery

Self Help Treatments:

Lose Weight

Quit Smoking

Avoid caffeine and eating heavy meals late

Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives before bedtime

 The bottom line here is, if you suspect you have Sleep Apnea, go to the doctor or take measures to take care of this problem.  Just don’t let it go and not do anything about it.  You don’t want to end up in the ER or worse.

 

Medical Disclaimer:  Please note that candidcommentsbychris and the author, me are stating opinions and personal experiences that I want to share.  It does not mean for you to take this as medical advice as I am NOT a doctor or medical professional.  The information on this site and in this post is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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