Sleep study, treatment prove life-changing for Centerville man
His symptoms were classic for serious sleep apnea. He was tired all the time no matter how much he slept. He snored and gasped during the night. He was often groggy during his half-hour commute to work each day.
And for Eric Fields of Centerville relief with treatment was almost immediate. “I felt better the very next day” said the 43-year-old of the results of just one night using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (C-PAP) unit. The sleep study determined that he suffered from a severe case of sleep apnea which hindered or stopped him from breathing more than 150 times every hour. His issue was magnified by the fact that he has larger than usual tonsils which contributed to problems with air flow during his sleep.
Dana Reihman M.D. is Medical Director of the Reid Health Sleep Disorders Center where Fields had his study. Dr. Reihman said patients with sleep apnea aren’t able to get into a deep restful sleep. Severe cases can lead to other serious health problems over time including affecting blood glucose levels and the cardiovascular system.
Typical symptoms include chronic fatigue falling asleep at awkward times during the day being groggy behind the wheel and snoring and gasping during the night.
Fields said his symptoms and family encouragement about a year ago led him to see Teresa Short NP at Reid Family Health. After hearing his symptoms she referred him for a study.
His “rest” is history. He almost immediately felt better and continues to do well after a year using C-PAP therapy which involves wearing a mask attached to a small machine by his bed.
“For me the adjustment was very easy because I slept so well. It takes only a little time to really start to feel the major benefits.”
The worst of all the symptoms for Fields was the fatigue which sometimes caused him to fall asleep in meetings in his job as a vice president at a company that makes parts for the auto industry. “No matter how much sleep I got I was very fatigued all the time.”
Therapy has given him a new life. He has more energy. He feels fine commuting to and from work each day.
He also shared how his wife would have to elbow him sometimes during the night to try to stop his snoring which was also affecting her ability to get a good night’s rest. He said his wife was at first worried because the machine – and her husband – was so much quieter at night. “She sleeps much better now too” he said smiling. “And she feels less fatigued too.”
The Reid Health Sleep Disorders Center can perform up to 24 studies a week in its Chester Boulevard facility. A study involves sleeping the night in a comfortable home-like environment while being monitored with sensors and with a sleep technician on hand. For more information: (765) 983-7966.