It Can Take Your Breath Away-Forever

June 21, 2010

Snoring…Sleep Apnea… High Blood Pressure…Heartburn…Stroke…Heart Attack…Death.  There is a statistical corralation between sleep apnea and heart attack.  A person has 7 times the normal risk for heart attack if they are overweight, 7.8 times higher with hypertension, 11 times higher with smoking and a 23.3 times higher chance of having a heart attack if you have sleep apnea.  Apnea means “without breath”.  If you do not breathe for a period of 10 seconds, this is defined as “apnea” or an apneic episode.  If you average 5-15 of these episodes in an hour of sleep, you are diagnosed with “mild” sleep apnea. 16-30 episodes per hour is moderate sleep apnea and over 30 episodes is considered severe.     The average age of death for a person that has untreated sleep apnea is 55.  Think of all the famous people who died in their sleep.  You do not have to snore to also have sleep apnea.  Taking this simple test can help determine your risk for sleep apnea.  If you score higher than 10, then call our office for a consultation.  Your life may depend upon it. 

How likely are you to fall asleep in the following situations?
0=would never doze Activity Score (0-3)
1=slight chance of dozing
2=moderate chance of dozing
3=high chance of dozing

 Sitting and Reading ______

 Watching television ______

 As a passenger in a car for an hour with no break ______
Lying down to rest in the afternoon, if circumstances permit ______
Sitting and talking to someone ______
Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol ______
In a car while stopped for a few minutes in traffic ______
Sitting, inactive, in a public place (theater, meeting) ______
Total Score: ______
 A score of ten or above indicates you may be having a problem with daytime sleepiness. However, below ten does not necessarily mean you do not have a problem.

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