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Sleep Apnea --Six More Important Questions to Ask Your Doctor

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If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, consider asking your doctor the following questions:

1. If I will require one of the devices that can help with sleep apnea, can I do without it once I am treated? Will I require to have the CPAP or any other device on even during the day? How have other working patients coped with this? These devices are worn by some people during the daytime as well. Ask your doctor if the device can be removed at any stage and how patients have coped with it.

2. Does the doctor have information to support groups on sleep apnea? If you think you suffer from sleep apnea, you are not alone. Sleep Apnea victimizes more than 20 million Americans and the global figures are even more astounding. (Source: Sleep Apnea Disorder Digest. Issue: 26th April, 2009. URL: http://sleepapneadisorder.info).

3. Are there any associated risks to consider? Sleep apnea patients run the risk of heart stroke, memory loss due to brain damage (because of deprivation of oxygen to brain cells), and reduced libido and heart conditions, pulmonary hypertension, kidney failure, liver damage, headaches, irregular menstrual cycles and eye disorders, etc.

4. Are there any lifestyle changes? If yes, what are they? Yes, lifestyle changes will be called for. Whatever be the line of treatment your doctor has prescribed for you, you are expected to make certain lifestyle changes at your end that will help you manage your condition more effectively. Some of these are:

a. Reducing weight and thereby your Body Mass Index
b. Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink
c. Quitting smoking
d. Inclining the head of your bed
e. Sleeping on your side
f. Using nasal dilating drops
g. Joining a sleep apnea support group
h. Getting your family's help and emotional support.

5. What is the prognosis for sleep apnea patients? The prognosis of sleep apnea includes the likely outcomes, duration of condition, chances of complications, prospects for recovery, recovery period for sleep apnea, and survival rates. Such forecast issues are by their nature unpredictable. However, broadly speaking, removing the obstruction usually reverses the commonly associated pulmonary and systemic hypertension and cardiac problems of obstructive apnea.

6. Is the treatment covered by insurance? Some procedures are not covered by insurance.

Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman (Publisher: Rupa & Co.) and the upcoming Rev Up Your Life! (Publisher: Hay House India). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Link: http://www.migrainingjenny.wordpress.com and http://www.footstrike.wordpress.com

Add a Comment2 Comments

Dear Anonymous,

CPAP can be advised for day time usage as well as during travel in aircrafts for those who the doctor think fit.

You may want to check it out on trusted infomation resources such as webmd (http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/continuous-positive-airway-pressure-cpap-for-obstructive-sleep-apnea) or wellsphere.com which sports articles from reliable sources ranging from the FDA and Harvard Medical School to leading health and fitness magazines.

Doctors do recommend this on a case to case basis and on the acuity of the condition.


March 24, 2010 - 11:04am
EmpowHER Guest

Patients are never told to use their CPAPs when they are awake. They are only used when the patient is sleeping to hold the relaxed airway open.

March 18, 2010 - 7:00pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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