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Sleep Apnea Patient Story - Health Education

Sleep apnea strikes all ages

If you think that sleep apnea only strikes the middle-aged—think again.

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Chris, sleep apnea patient

Twenty-six-year-old Chris slept only two or three hours a night before receiving help for obstructive sleep apnea. “I had a really bad snoring problem, and I never felt rested,” Chris says. “I was snoring loud enough to wake myself up at night.”

The Princeton resident, who works as the service center manager in an automotive repair shop, was plagued by fatigue—the entire day was a struggle for him.

Jeremy Peterson, MD, family medicine physician at Fairview Clinics – Princeton, suspected that Chris’ sleep problems made it impossible for his body to physically recuperate at night. He recommended Chris undergo a sleep study at Fairview Sleep Centers – Princeton, located at Fairview Northland Medical Center.

“At first, the thought of sleeping in a strange setting made me extremely nervous,” admits Chris. “I actually made myself sick worrying about it. I tried to go once, but I chickened out. I made it all the way to the hospital and then just went home. I never even got out of the car.”

But when Chris’ problems continued to get worse, Dr. Peterson strongly encouraged him to reconsider having the sleep study done. This time, Chris followed through, and he’s been grateful ever since.

“I went expecting it to be very uncomfortable,” says Chris, “but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sleep technician Kent Caylor gave me all of the information I’d ever need. He told me exactly what would happen and what they were looking for. He eased me into it, and I almost slept better than I normally do.”

Chris was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, which means his airway collapses intermittently throughout the night, resulting in loud snoring and a loss of oxygen each time he stops breathing. Otolaryngologist and sleep specialist Oleg Froymavich, MD, prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which uses a gentle flow of air to keep Chris’ airway open while he sleeps.

With the CPAP, Chris is getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night, and his wife is sleeping better, too. Chris also reports that he enjoys his customer-oriented job more because he’s in a better mood and less cranky as a result of feeling rested.

“I’d tell anyone experiencing any kind of sleep problem to do it—have the sleep study done,” says Chris. “You’ll never regret it.”

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