Recently the news has been peppered with stories about the growing opinion in the medical world that sleep disorder, and apnea in particular, is likely to be contributing to heart disease and brain issues - including dementia. Turns out our bodies really don't like having the supply of oxygen cut off for even a short duration as happens repetitively with those of us with OSA.
My doctor put me on CPAP because of the link to heart disease, and since I had a pretty serious heart issue 7 years ago it was a prudent thing to do. If only I had started therapy many years ago I may have been able to avoid the AMI attack I had that darn near killed me. I've recovered from that thank goodness and with luck CPAP may help me avoid another.
I don't think dementia has set in yet, though my wife may disagree, but I'm hoping to avoid that altogether and I'm really hoping that CPAP therapy will be instrumental in that avoidance.
Are we lucky that we have apnea? Nah....not so much. Are we lucky that we are being treated...YES...we are very lucky in that regard.
Many millions suffer from this silent malady that slowly works on our bodies like a weak acid works on steel. The changes can only be seen over time and only now the medical world is starting to understand it. I hope that everyone who needs this therapy will be able to have it before the damage is done.
This isn't just about sleeping well....It's about living well....and for some it's simply about living at all. Encourage your friends, neighbors, coworkers, children...all to understand their sleep behavior and not take it for granted...as I did for so many years. Be proactive and pay it forward.
Here's wishing all of you good sleep and best of health.
I am a veteran of CPAP therapy going back to the late 1980's when use of CPAP was in its infancy. I too, feel that though I am not lucky to have the condition I am truly fortunate to have found treatment all those years ago. Back when I was initially diagnosed small cities like mine did not have diagnosis and treatment available, but I was fortunate to go to the great Washington University Center in St Louis and be treated by a great neurologist there. Although I had some real difficulty with masks in those early years, even the extremely simple CPAP machine (A now antique Healthdyne) that I was fitted with gave me relief from the constant sleepiness and fatigue, the daily headaches, and the nights of nightmares of choking and drowning. So far as I know there has been no lasting damage to my well being and I am a hale and hearty 84 years old now after about 27-28 years of XPAP therapy
For many years I have been an apostle for diagnosis and treatment and have persuaded quite a few friends to see a doctor and get apnea treatment. Incidentally, my own adult son has also been diagnosed with sleep apnea and has been successfully treated. So far as I know I have no specific lasting injury to my well being