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Sleep tight: Rotarians learn about apnea, other disorders

Rotary Club of Ennis program given by Cody Herndon
The Ennis Rotary Club learned about Obstructive Sleep Apnea at the service club’s Tuesday luncheon at the Ennis Country Club.
Cody Herndon of the Ellis County Sleep Center said Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the partial closing of the airway in the throat, causing breathing to decrease and sleep to be disrupted.
“Our bodies are pretty smart,” Herndon said.
Approximately 40 million people suffer from OSA, which makes it as prevalent as asthma.
Some key signs, or symptoms, of OSA are excessive daytime sleeping, loud snoring, pauses in breath at night, waking up gasping or choking, witnessed snoring or pauses in breath, high blood pressure, morning headaches, irritability, depression, memory loss, lack of concentration, frequent nighttime urination and sexual dysfunction.
Herndon said to diagnose OSA a physical exam should be conducted by your family physician first. Your physician would ask some questions about your sleeping habits, which could lead to a sleep study being done.
That is where Herndon and the Ellis County Sleep Center come in to play. Herndon said since opening in Ennis two years ago they have treated approximately 500 people.
A sleep study, or polysomnography, is a painless study that is done in a laboratory setting to monitor the patient’s sleep patterns. Herndon said while the patient sleeps the study records brain wave activity, respiratory patterns, heart rate, chest movement, leg movement and eye movement.
The sleep study could lead to identification and treatment of a sleep disorder, however there are other options, according to Herndon.
He said a patient could try surgery, but it is a painful process and recovery is long and arduous.
“It has anywhere from a 20 percent to 40 percent success rate,” Herndon said. “Surgery is a viable option, but CPAP is the only 100 percent success option.”
Patients use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine mainly for the treatment of sleep apnea at home. The CPAP machine blows air at a prescribed pressure, also called the titrated pressure, into the patient through a mask.
Some consequences of leaving OSA untreated, according to Herndon, include developing high blood pressure, heart attack and heart disease, heart arrhythmias, type 2 diabetes, stroke, car or job-related accidents and job loss.
“Our heart is like a car engine,” Herndon said about OSA slowing down and speeding up a heart rate at night. “On the highway running at 70 mph is okay on the engine. It’s when in town stopping and starting that the engine receives wear and tear.”
Herndon gave the Rotarians some tips to live with OSA.
He said a person could make body position modification or lifestyle changes such as practicing good sleep hygiene or losing weight to help with OSA. He also said to avoid alcohol, sedatives and hypnotics at night.
“This is easily identifiable and it’s just going to increase your quality of life,” Herndon said.
Prior to Herndon’s program, Norma Epstein presented Mackenzie Graham and Molly Yocum with scholarships for $500 and $250.
“Thank you so very much because I desperately needed this money to continue my education,” Graham said.
Graham will be studying musical theater in Chicago.
“I really, really appreciate all you have done,” Yocum said.
Yocum plans on attending the University of North Texas in Denton where she will study English to become a certified teacher.
Rotary Member Sara Moss said the 10th Annual Polka Fest Run raised approximately $8,900. The money will go toward the Ennis Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.
The Ennis Rotary Club meets Tuesday at noon at the Ennis Country Club.

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Posted by on May 29 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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