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What's Going Around: Sleep Apnea

August 20, 2012

If you're tired during the day, the problem may be what you're doing at night. This week's What's Going Around we're talking about sleep apnea. It's a sleep disorder that's characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep.

Dr. Gabriel Spring of Palmyra Medical Associates is providing our medical information.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include daytime sleepiness, morning headache, lack of energy during the day, snoring, and pauses in breathing. It typically lasts a lifetime, except in a few people who are able to lose weight.

You're more likely to get sleep apnea if you're overweight, have a large tongue or wide neck.

When it comes to treatment, Dr. Spring says your doctor may order a sleep study to find out for sure if you have sleep apnea. If you do have it, you can be treated with a special mask to wear at night.

Dr. Spring says maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent the sleep disorder.

Long term untreated sleep apnea can lead to heart and lung problems, not to mention falling asleep while driving.

Just a reminder, if you're over the age of 11, Dr. Spring says you need a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine.

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