Three percent of Americans suffer from sleep apnea while 40 million are undiagnosed. It can be a very dangerous condition if untreated, 1400 traffic fatalities are blamed on the condition every year.
Barry Rice works for Sterling Crane in Grand Junction as a crane operator. When he noticed that he was getting sleepy at work and had more than one episode that scared his wife he went to the doctor, “I would stop breathing so my wife wanted me to get checked out. I went to the doctor, said I wasn't sleeping, and they sent me to a sleep study.”
Rice was diagnosed with sleep apnea and now must wear a mask every night just to get adequate rest.
Thomas Fleishman with Preferred Home Care monitors Barry to make sure he is getting a good nights sleep, and says there are a few things you can look for if you think you have sleep apnea, “Daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, and if you wake up as tired as when you went to bed you may be at risk.”
Fleishman also says people who are diabetic or have a heart condition are also prone to developing a sleeping disorder and says that if you think you might have sleep apnea or another sleeping disorder go see your doctor.
Rice says he was glad he got checked out. Not only is he safer on the job but he's found new energy, “I enjoy my family I don’t just come home and pass out on the couch I go out and play with my kids.”
Preferred Home Care holds free monthly seminars on sleep disorders every third Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. They also offer free sleep screenings. You can contact Preferred Homecare at 970-257-1565, stop by their office at 529 25 1/2 Rd. or click the link below this story for more information.