Opinion

Thiel: Treatment for sleep apnea is essential

There is a serious and common night time condition that effects men, women and children.

It is a very serious yet, treatable disorder.

If left uncorrected, it can lead to heart attack, stroke, diabetes, weight gain, mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, memory and concentration issues and decreased sex drive.

I am talking about sleep apnea.

Here, in this disorder, during sleep the airway becomes blocked due to an excessive flacidness of the airway, essentially blocking the movement of air to the lungs and reducing your blood oxygen levels to dangerous lows. There are two types of sleep apnea.

The first and less common is central sleep apnea. Here, the brain forgets to tell you to breathe.

The second, and more common, form is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Here, the airway is literally collapsing, blocking airflow. The individual attempts to breathe but cannot.

Essentially the individual is suffocating and is unaware of it. Almost all cases of OSA are associated with snoring.

The individual with OSA will exhibit loud snoring followed by a cessation of snoring then a loud gasp or chocking sound. The cycle repeats all night.

All over Kelowna, there are spouses pointing fingers at one another as they read these words, saying “I told you so”.

Sorry about that.

These individuals will exhibit excessive daytime sleepiness, weight gain and a overall decrease in energy and mood.

Though you are asleep, you are in a state of distress.

That is why these people are always tired and profoundly sleep deprived.

During an OSA event, the individuals heart rate and blood pressure will skyrocket until the airway becomes open or patent again. Thats the loud gasp I spoke of previously.

Our blood is normally saturated with oxygen. This is what keeps us alive.

Actually, our blood is carrying approximately a saturation of 98 per cent oxygen. During an OSA crisis, the amount of blood oxygen can drop as low as 30 per cent for a length of time.

If this sounds like you or someone you know, there is help.

Once the OSA is addressed, the person “comes back to life.” Energy returns, mental faculties and function return to normal and the nicest part of it is that you won’t die from it.

Talk to your health practitioner, the diagnosis is so simple that you can do it in your sleep, in fact you do.

Once diagnosed, the ailment can be treated by a small bedside machine called a CPAP machine that keeps your airways open.

In addition, dentists successfully treating these patients by fitting them with a simple oral mouthguard that will prevent you from obstructing.

It can be that easy.

In addition to being a doctor of chiropractic, I am also trained as a respiratory therapist.

I have seen the diagnosis and treatment of this disorder quite literally change peoples lives.

Sleep well and breathe easy. Your life depends on it.

 

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