Local 47-Year-Old Mother of Four Dies In Her Sleep
A local woman from Jerseyville, Illinois laid down with her kids for an afternoon nap and never woke up. She had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and had a CPAP machine sitting next to her bed. Like many people, she did not like using her CPAP and did not put the mask on her face before falling asleep. Her children reported hearing her gasping for air and trying to wake her, but she did not respond.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous disease that causes people to stop breathing while they are sleeping. Most physicians recommend that patients who have sleep apnea use CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy. CPAP therapy utilizes a mask that fits over the face and forces air through the nose and down the airway while sleeping. Many people do not enjoy CPAP therapy. About half the people who are supposed to sleep with the mask cannot tolerate this treatment.
It is common for sleep apnea patients who are intolerant to CPAP therapy to feel miserable. They typically:
• Are unable to sleep through the night.
• Never feel like they get a good night’s sleep.
• Have trouble concentrating during the day.
• May fall asleep during the day.
• Frequently suffer with high blood pressure and obesity.
• Commonly snore loud enough to disrupt others and generally feel exhausted.
Some sleep apnea patients even develop a fear of sleeping and become insomniacs because they know they stop breathing while they are asleep and could die in their sleep.
In most cases, patients who are told to use the CPAP mask can instead use a comfortable and affordable oral appliance . This appliance looks like a retainer and is only worn while sleeping. Most patients who use the appliance report sleeping better, feeling more rested, no longer snoring and getting up less frequently at night. Many even lose weight, lower their blood pressure and have their doctor take them off medications!
It is common that sleep apnea patients have never been informed that oral appliance therapy is a great option. Most people are not even aware that this simple treatment exists. Unfortunately, some people are even told that oral appliance therapy just does not work and that it would be a waste of time for them to try to use an oral appliance. This is no longer true with today’s great technology!
The Jerseyville woman’s sister, Cathy, decided to be tested for sleep apnea after her sister’s death. Cathy was diagnosed with sleep apnea and tried to use a CPAP machine but was unable to tolerate the machine. Cathy explains, “I felt like I was fighting with my CPAP all night and I just couldn’t get comfortable enough to sleep. I had Dr. Smith make me an oral appliance after a friend recommended her. My appliance is amazing and now I feel well rested when I wake up! I wish my sister had known about oral appliance therapy before she passed away.”