A life with sleep apnea

Sleep is as vital as the air we breathe and the nutrients we put into our bodies. Yet millions of people are not getting the quality sleep needed to function at their fullest. Doctors estimate that 50 to 70 million American’s, of all ages, backgrounds and race have sleep-related problems. One local woman’s life changed *dramatically* after discovering she had a sleep disorder.

“I know enough to know if you’re not breathing throughout the night. this can be quite a problem. This is where it gets serious,’ said Janice Krafton.

Krafton was scared. In 2014 she was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Five years later, she’s checking in with Dr. Lisa Buford regularly at the Midtown sleep Center. “She came to me with symptoms of snoring and increased daytime somnolence. Also a BMI body max index of 30 or greater is a risk factor of sleep apnea,” said Dr. Buford.

Buford says after gathering background information and routine testing they were able to diagnose Krafton with a sleep disorder. “If I’m not mistaken it was severe sleep apnea,” said Burford

“I never knew I had it. I was at a state meeting with some friends. They told me that I kept … that I just stopped breathing. Then I’d wake up and snore horribly. So they said to me that they’re not going to share a room with me next year,” explained Krafton.

Krafton looks back on this moment with a light heart, but it was a scary time for her. “They said that I had stopped 51 times in one hour,” said Krafton.

Signs of sleep apnea include loud snoring. But not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep.

Other signs are gasping for air during sleep, awakening with a dry mouth, morning headache, difficulty staying asleep, excessive daytime sleepiness.

Mercy Neurologist, Dr. William Hogancamp says sleep disorders are preventable. Untreated it can be deadly. “They affect us in our day to day life. Affect us in our relationship and in our work. they affect our health,” said Dr. Hogancamp.

Talk to your doctor. “If a person is overly symptomatic with one of these daytime drowsiness persistent fatigue or an ability to get an adequate amount of sleep. I would advise these people check out or at least talk to your family physician about it,” said Dr. Hogancamp.

Krafton says now that’s she’s getting a good night’s sleep she’s never felt better. “I’m waking up refreshed. Not driving tired and not exhausted when I wake up. My mouth is not dry. I’m just having a grade ole time with it now. I like life better,” said Krafton.

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep and breathing condition. Krafton does rely on a c-pap machine to help with her breathing. This type of machine uses a hose and mask or nosepiece to deliver constant and steady air pressure.

To learn more on sleep apnea, click on the links below: