Medical Monday: Sleep Apnea - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Medical Monday: Sleep Apnea

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Gary Moody knew he needed a sleep study when his wife complained about his loud snoring. 

"My wife is a nurse and she was the one that originally told me that she thought I had sleep apnea," said Moody.

After a study at Parkway Medical Center, it was revealed that his breathing stopped periodically, and his respiration level fell.

The main purpose for a sleep study is to closely monitor the patient. One way of doing that is through a camera. That camera stays glued onto that patient so that technicians can keep a close watchful eye on that patient all during the night.

The wires are also monitoring various things like pulse and pressure. Sleep apnea experts, like Dr. James W. Roy, say there are many signals.  "Just being sleepy during the day. Frequently what happens as they get older, patients may not complain about just sleepiness, they may talk about their fatigue," said Dr. Roy.

Other symptoms include being over weight, irritability, forgetfulness and headaches.  Dr. Roy said sleep apnea contributes to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, acid reflux and more.   "The number one identifiable cause of high blood pressure is sleep apnea," said Dr. Roy.

He said one of every 2 patients under 40 with high blood pressure has sleep apnea. When the apnea is treated the blood pressure falls. 

For Moody the future is bright and restful.   "I've been dealing with the c-pap. I've been working with it for about 3 weeks now," said Moody. "You feel a lot better because your getting a full night's sleep. Your rested when you get up in the morning," he added.

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