Sleep apnea treatment and prevention

News Center 23

POSTED: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 4:38pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 7:31am

"Normally people consider that the symptoms of sleep apnea are benign, but are very serious."

But these seemingly benign symptoms, like snoring and sleeping during the day, could be the onset of sleep apnea, a condition characterized by infrequent breathing patterns during seep.

The National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute reported that being overweight could lead to sleep apnea. And in the Rio Grande Valley, there's a high incidence of both.

"One of the issues is that it's a hyper-prevalence of obesity and obesity's related to sleep apnea. Actually sleep apnea…90 percent of the people who have sleep apnea are obese."

"This is the room where lab tests are conducted to determine whether or not patients have sleep apnea. On a patient's first night in this room, these wires are hooked up to this CPAP machine and then placed around the patient's head. This tests their stages of sleep and oxygen levels."

"The second night, what we do is we use the masks. We have different kind of masks that we use to allow the patient to, to be comfortable at night and sleep with the mask. We try to maintain an adequate pressure to keep the airways open and essentially that is what we do."

But to prevent getting sleep apnea all together, Dr. Rodriguez has one simple piece of advice.

"We advise you to try to be fit and to try to avoid obesity and basically it's that. It's the main driven force for sleep apnea."

Reporting in Harlingen, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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