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Snoring can be more than just a sleep problem

BY NewsUSA Modified: July 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm •  Published: July 12, 2012

Do you have a partner that constantly complains about your snoring? Do you wake up feeling fatigued even though you slept all night long?

If so, you may have more than a noise complaint on your hands. Snoring is no laughing matter. In fact, 50 to 60 percent of people who snore have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can be life-threatening if left untreated.

This was the case for Geoff Malecha, a retired computer professional. For most of his adult life, Geoff maintained a strict workout regimen and was quite healthy.

A few years ago, his wife, Cassie, began to notice something alarming in Geoff's sleeping patterns. He would frequently snore and even stop breathing during sleep.

As the situation progressed, Geoff would often choke in his sleep and awaken in a panic, gasping for breath.

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), one of the main signs of OSA may be a complaint by your bed partner that you snore loudly or that you stop breathing repeatedly while you're asleep.

"That choking and gasping really got my attention," Geoff said. "It finally got me to finally see a physician about what was happening."

Then, the answer was delivered. While reviewing the results of his sleep study, Geoff was told that he stopped breathing a total of 125 times per hour.

Obstructive sleep apnea doesn't just leave you tired from a non-restful night of sleep. When you stop breathing, your heart beats faster, raising your blood pressure and increasing your chances of heart attack and stroke.

Insufficient sleep can affect your job performance and ability to perform basic functions, like driving a car.

"My doctor recommended I begin continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment," Geoff recalled.

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