ANNIE’S MAILBOX: Serious snoring? Get sleep apnea test
By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
Dear Annie: You told “Upset,” whose husband has no interest in sex, to have his testosterone level checked. Because “Upset” specifically mentioned their sleeping apart was due to his serious snoring, I suspect a more likely cause of the problem is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA is an insidious and treacherous health condition. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that at least 20 percent of adults are affected. Sleep apnea is now known to be linked to cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes, diabetes, ED, depression and numerous other health problems. The fatigue from poor sleep increases the risk of traffic and work-related accidents by 300 percent or more. It makes sense that if one’s breathing is being choked off hundreds of times a night by an obstructed airway, bad things happen.
Common symptoms of airway obstruction affecting breathing and sleep include: excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), snoring, hypertension, erectile dysfunction, personality changes, memory problems, a history of heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular disease, and a history of diabetes. New research shows that more than 80 percent of diabetic patients may have sleep apnea.
Risk factors for sleep apnea include: age, gender (men are more likely to have sleep apnea, but women, especially after menopause, are at risk as well), neck size (more than 16.5 inches in men, greater than 15 inches in women), and BMI (Body Mass Index) over 30. (There are, however, many skinny people with sleep apnea.)
“Upset” should get her husband to a knowledgeable physician for testing. The best is a polysomnogram, which requires an overnight stay in a sleep clinic. Your readers can find out more by going to the American Sleep Apnea Association website (sleepapnea.org), the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (aadsm.org) and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (aasmnet.org).
Thomas F. Armstrong, DDS, Bakersfield Dental Sleep Medicine-New Solutions for Snoring/Sleep Apnea/CPAP Intolerance, Bakersfield, Calif.
Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our 60s. An old girlfriend of his recently phoned and left her number. While traveling near her area, he called and invited her to lunch. He told me all about it when he returned. He thinks he was honest, but I disagree. He did not inform the ex-girlfriend that we were married, and he didn’t tell me ahead of time that he was meeting her.
We have a good relationship. But most women don’t contact an old boyfriend unless they have something on their mind. And by not telling her he is attached to someone else, he is giving her the wrong message. What do you say?
Curious in N.C.
Dear Curious: Of course he should have told you he was planning to call this woman and see her. If you trust him, put this behind you, but make it clear that you expect genuine honesty in the future.
Email your questions to anniesmailboxcomcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.