Sleep apnea: what is it, looking for signs, and treatment

by Quay Evano, ABS-CBN News

CALGARY — In 2006, architect Mark Abesamis suffered from constant blood pressure problems and fatigue, even with a proper night of eight-hour sleep.

The Fil-Canadian thought it was simply due to his busy schedule, until medical professionals eventually diagnosed him with sleep apnea.

“For the Filipino community because they don’t know there is such a thing as a sleeping disorder and a lot of them I believe is suffering from snoring, lack of sleep and they don’t understand why,” said Abesamis.

Since then, Abesamis uses the continuous positive airway pressure or C-Pap machine to help him breathe in his sleep properly- a medical technology that’s changed his life. Still, Abesamis says more people should be made aware of the sleep condition.

“They don’t want themselves assessed, which I think is very dangerous. I tell them that maybe you should get yourself assessed but somehow, still you know a lot of them are still reluctant.”

Common signs of sleep apnea include uncontrolled blood pressure, constant snoring, morning headaches, frequently waking up to urinate, and waking up in the middle of the night gasping and choking.

This Filipino Canadian sleep technologist says that sleep apnea is more prevalent among Asians.

“Based on the research study conducted in the United States, there’s a lot of Asian populous that are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and it’s because of the narrowed airway and this is up to 50 percent,” said Kris Salumbides. “So to enable to deal with this concern, there’s a lot of our kababayans who doesn’t know this sleeping issue.”

Salumbides recently co-founded a sleep-care clinic in Edmonton to educate more people about the sleeping disorder.

“If you are on a C-pap machine, basically, enables for you to become successful, research study shows you need to have a strong follow-up program that’s why we have sleep assure program in our company.”

 

“If you stop the therapy, the symptoms come back. Your reason for being there for getting the sleep study in the first place, it will return so for right now, you could have options, maybe a surgery, it’s uncomfortable,” said Jesse Tallon, director of operations Quality Sleepcare Inc.

The clinic serves as an opportunity for kababayans in the area to get a good night’s rest, which could be a solution to a number of other health problems.

“I think it is really good that especially for the Filipino community because they don’t know there is such a thing as a sleeping disorder and a lot of them I believe is suffering from snoring, lack of sleep and they don’t understand why.”

People who have trouble sleeping are advised to consult their physician as these could be signs of a sleeping disorder that needs immediate treatment.

 

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