Sleep apnea, my own experience
by: Dental Assistant Team
I have written a few pieces about sleep apnea recently and wanted to share my personal experience and what I have learned up to now.
Sleep apnea is a condition that is life threatening and stays undiagnosed way too often! Dr. Joy and Dr. Tom have invested in a new technology that can help screen the silent killer called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Since we are now providing this new non-invasive test, I volunteered to take a night study to see how it worked and to be able to share my experience with our patients. My focus was mainly to observe my bruxism, as I know I do clench and grind at night. I should mention that our study can analyze that condition as well along with the sleep study. (I will focus on that side of the study in an upcoming article)
Being 42, thin build, in great health, and most people around me would tell you I have high energy personality, I was really shocked to learn the results of my test... "Mild case of sleep apnea?" Me? No way!!!
Here I was standing as the poster child for the case of the undiagnosed case of sleep apnea. Like most of my fellow undiagnosed people, I was in total denial. Prior to doing the sleep study if you'd asked me what my thoughts on why I would feel tired occasionally, I would have say: "Of course I feel tired sometimes. I'm a mom, I work, I have plenty of reason to be tired occasionally, but who isn't?"
I could tell you my personality does not give into being tired; I wake up at 5:40 am, go to work all day, and when I come home there is a whole other life that starts with taking care of family stuff: homework to overlook, dinner and a household to keep going. Like most of you reading this, who would not wake up tired from time to time, right? Do we really sleep well after having children, anyways?
Snoring at night? Nobody ever told me I did... So, I too the night study focusing on a condition I knew I had: teeth grinding.
The results from the night study test revealed that from 11 pm until 540 am, I had 21 "episodes" of obstructive air way path causing me to stop breathing; a condition called OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). In my case very short few seconds but, do the math, in 6h40 min I woke up 3.4 times an hour. Woke up thinking I had my usual scattered night sleep. I am used to sleep with my biteguard for years now. I always thought that was the reason I had agitated nights. This whole experience made me realize that there might be something off with my sleeping pattern and I started noticing that what I had been taking for granted for years was actually not "normal". The following night I woke thinking: "I woke up sooo many times and I feel like a zombie again." This was familiar to me. I had gotten used to it and learn to just deal with it.
I never really dwelled on it. To me it was just part of me: feeling tired because of another night of waking up so many times...
At that point I wondered: "how will it feel to be totally rested every morning? And how will it affect my life?"
I couldn't ignore the risks that doing nothing would represent, and I am extremely grateful to my Drs. For providing me with this night study, but how was I going to take such a life change, and how was I going to deal this condition I never suspected I had.
Medically speaking, being a mild case of OSA, my treatment would be simple. A mouth appliance will be enough for me to experience a good night sleep.
Even with a mild case of obstructive sleep apnea you are exposed to serious health risks such as organ failures, heart injuries, stroke, and even death.
I am fortunate to have a mild case of sleep apnea and equally as fortunate to have lived so many years without a catastrophic consequence to my sleep apnea, but some people might not have a much more serious case than mine without even knowing.
Don't wait for another interrupted night of sleep. Get this simple test done, it could very well save your life!
If you have any questions regarding this post, contact us at: 561-265-1998 , one of our representatives will be happy to assist you.
Article date: Oct. 29 2013
Type: Sleep Apnea
Location: Boca Raton - Palm Beach County