William K.’s snoring was so loud his wife couldn’t sleep, but even more worrisome was when he completely stopped breathing.
“I was asleep and wasn’t aware of the snoring or breathing issues,” said William. “It scared my wife, and was so disruptive that she had to move out of the bedroom. That’s when I got diagnosed with sleep apnea.”
According the Sleep Center’s Thye Schuyler, MD, sleep apnea is caused by an obstructed airway during sleep and can lead to cardiovascular disease if left untreated. Pauses in breathing reduce blood oxygen levels and cause the heart and lungs to work harder than normal.
Regular pressure from a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine keeps the airway open and blood oxygen levels from getting too low.
William said, “When my old, bowling ball-sized machine broke down, I would not be nearly as perky in morning.” William needed a new sleep assessment before replacing his CPAP machine and decided on Salem Hospital Sleep Center.
“What a wonderful facility and competent team of sleep specialists,” said William. William was at the Sleep Center for four hours for the initial test. He was able to fall asleep during that time. The sleep center team would adjust his mask and reassess his breathing.
William now has a new CPAP machine that is smaller and much more portable for traveling. According to William, the mask with the old machine was difficult to get used to and he was never sure if he was getting air.
“Now, I know it is fine,” said William. According to Dr. Schuyler, the new machine sends wireless messages to the Sleep Center that alerts them if the mask or CPAP unit is not working properly. If a leakage problem were to occur, the Sleep Center would be notified, and then they would contact William.
“When I go to bed at night, I pull back the covers, put on the mask, turn on the machine and adjust the facemask,” said William. “Then, I get into bed and pull the covers over me. In six hours, when I wake up, I am in the same position with the covers hardly messed up. It is a total, peaceful sleep.”