After Cindy Gross observed her husband, Gary, stop breathing several times during the night, Gary had a sleep evaluation that confirmed his oxygen level dropped significantly during sleep.
Assess Your Risk
Do YOU have obstructive sleep apnea?
Many people snore or are tired at some point, but it could be more serious. Use STOP–BANG to assess your risk for a serious sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring - loud or frequent snoring
Tired - chronic daytime fatigue even after a full night’s sleep
Observed - stopped breathing or gasping (ask your spouse!)
Pressure - high blood pressure
Body Mass - BMI above 25 (overweight, but thin people also can have sleep apnea)
Age - over 50 (sleep disorders are not, however, exclusive to older adults)
Neck - neck size greater than 17 for men and 16 for women
Gender - male (sleep apnea affects more men than women, but women in menopause/post menopause are also at risk)
Sleep apnea is serious but often undiagnosed
"The difference is amazing. Now we both get a good night's sleep and have the energy to do things together during the day." – Cindy Gross, Oakville Resident
“It seemed like I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep for over 20 years.” Oakville resident Gary Gross thought work stress or aging were to blame for daytime fatigue. But when he retired, the former chief financial officer of Logan College of Chiropractic caught himself napping five to six days a week. Last fall, he started snoring loudly. “My wife thought it was allergies, so I tried over-the-counter medications and Breathe-right® strips,” says Gross. “Nothing changed.”
In January, his wife heard a “wake-up” call. “He started gasping and didn’t breathe for periods of time while sleeping, which was scary,” says Cindy Gross. “I knew something was wrong.”
Gross was referred to a sleep specialist and sent for an overnight sleep evaluation at St. Anthony’s Medical Center. He was surprised to learn he was among the more than 12 million Americans diagnosed with sleep apnea, a serious sleeping disorder.
“I was totally surprised that it showed I had stopped breathing multiple times while sleeping and my oxygen level had dropped significantly,” says Gross.
He was given a special mask to wear every night that creates air pressure in the throat to keep the airway open. “Within one night, it worked,” he says. “I stopped snoring, my leg movements stopped and my oxygen level came back up. I feel so much better now and maybe nap only once a week.”
“The difference is amazing,” laughs Cindy. “Now we both get a good night’s sleep and have the energy to do things together during the day.”
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
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