Sleep Apnea Follow-up

In February, we introduced you to a man diagnosed with sleep apnea. Since then, he has been receiving treatment. We have this update.

"Before, when I'd get up I'd still be drowsy, want to kind of go back to sleep a little bit, that sort of thing, but not now, when I wake up I'm ready to get up and I get my day started," says John Sease, a local architect who suffers from sleep apnea.

In normal sleep, air flows freely down the throat. But in sleep apnea, the throat muscles relax so much that your air flow becomes completely blocked.

Your brain partially wakes you up to resume breathing, then the process repeats itself throughout the night.

As many as one in ten women and one in four men could have sleep apnea, but John got help. His relief came in the form of a nasal mask and air machine.

"But I slept so good the first night, and my wife said I made absolutely no noise at all, that I didn't move around very much, and so I adjusted to it real quickly," says John.

The device blows air in, keeping his airway open. And John admits - it takes some getting used to. But it's well worth it to get a good night's sleep.

"I'm just more alert. I can sit down and read a book and not get sleepy. I can drive on the road and not feel myself getting sleepy. I used to stop and get a Coke or something to stay alert," he says.

Here are some symptoms that could indicate you suffer from sleep apnea.

Sleepiness, falling asleep while watching tv or driving, loud or irregular snoring, snoring yourself awake, high blood pressure, and being overweight.

If you think you might have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor. If you're like John, a good night's sleep could be a dream come true.

He says, "when I go to bed, I really look forward to going to sleep and I wake up very refreshed in the morning."

Left untreated, sleep apnea increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and fatal car wrecks from falling asleep at the wheel.

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