Get free screening for sleep apnea

March 10, 2009 2:54:51 PM PDT
Daylight Saving Time is now in effect and as we spring forward, many may lose and hour sleep.That's why the National Sleep Foundation made March Sleep Awareness Month. The purpose is to help people find out if getting a bad night's sleep is a treatable disorder.

For years Loise Meyer lived with restless nights.

"I moved up here five years to live with my daughter, and when I moved in with them, they said I snored terrible, I talked in my sleep, and I knew at home I walked in my sleep, and I also fell out of my bed a lot," Meyer said.

At her family's urging, Meyer got tested to find out if she suffered from sleep apnea.

"I had 38 episodes in an hour," she explained.

Meyer isn't alone. An estimated 30 million Americans have sleep apnea and most are undiagnosed. The disorder is characterized by pauses of breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.

"The most common symptom is snoring," explained Lisa Feierstein, registered nurse and Active Healthcare founder.

Feierstein says other symptoms can include nighttime urination, headaches, reduced energy, moodiness, irritability and a disinterest in sex. But id diagnosed, the disorder can be treated easily.

The gold standard of treatment is PAP therapy, which stands for positive airway pressure. Treatment includes a six-foot tube that is attached to a mask on a person's face. It gently and quietly pushes air through the tube to keep the airway open.

Once Meyer was fitted for her mask, the restless nights from sleep apnea came to an end, making her days much better.

"So it's really changed my lifestyle in sleeping, I don't nap as much in the afternoon and I really feel good," Meyer said.

If you would like to be testes for sleep apnea, there are several free screenings this month around the Triangle.

For a complete list of the screenings, click here and download a flyer.


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