Today, I’d like to share my personal story as a sleep apnea patient. Some years ago, I participated in a seminar that was week-long with 16 doctors– pulmonologist, oral surgeons, and dentists. We had classes morning, afternoon, and discuss cases in the evening. When we went back to our dorm, home sleep tests were provided. And these were a nasal cannula, a belt with his cell phone pack, and a finger cut all connected to the little pack.
Turns out the next morning, I was told that I had sleep apnea. And I said, what, me? I work out all the time. I eat properly. I don’t have a large neck. I’m not overweight. But I have sleep apnea. And for me, I was fortunate. I was able to make an oral appliance that I wore for a month and retested and found I was not snoring, I was more alert, not falling asleep. And in retrospect, I looked back and said, wow, I have not been able to watch an entire Monday Night Football game since dental school. I have fallen asleep in most movies that I’d gone to. I thought I got up early, I work hard like pounce out of bed, but you give me five minutes, I was falling asleep if I wasn’t doing something.
I realized that one out of four or five Americans has this problem. People driving the school buses for the kids, those double tractor trailers on the highway operating machines and factories. And I know how much this helped and changed my life. And I decided to open the Beachwood Sleep Center a few years ago. Based on my experience and the change in the quality of life that this has given me, I would urge any of you who feel that you have these symptoms to get tested. And if you’d like to call our office, we’d be happy to walk you through the process.