December 21st, 2015
“I used to sit on my bed, or on the sofa, and doze off, the cup of tea slipping out of my hand, much to the irritation of my wife and kids,” recalls Mohd. Azeem. A driver by profession, Azeem realised that his daytime sleepiness was a graver problem than he thought as he and his boss barely managed to escape death when his car rammed into the divider. The cause of the accidents – he dozed off for a few seconds at the wheel and lost control.
Azeem’s constant sleepiness was affecting his life, both at home and work. His lethargic demeanor and lack of zest for life frustrated his family. He was not able to spend quality time with his kids or his wife. At work, he was unable to concentrate. Being a driver, alertness is the basic requirement. But Azeem felt so tired that it affected his performance. To add to his woes, his blood sugar was shooting up to alarming levels of about 600 points.
The fact that his entire life was being consumed by this zombie-like existence was making Azeem depressed. He was breaking his head to find a solution, when his senior gave an advice that that changed his life.
“My boss referred me to a sleep doctor. The doctor carried out a sleep test and found out what my problem was.”
A detailed investigation of Azeem’s breathing patterns, oxygen levels and sleeping positions revealed surprising results! Trifling as it may appear, it was found that his loud snoring was the main cause of his irregular sleep cycle, poor concentration and disrupted family life. The test reports and Azeem’s symptoms all pointed towards Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
“Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common condition, but not many actually realise its seriousness. If left untreated, OSA can lead to other debilitating conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks, paralytic attacks and even cancer. It causes daytime sleepiness, resulting in accidents like the one Azeem had”; says Dr. Manvir Bhatia, one of the pioneers in developing the specialty of Neurophysiology and sleep Medicine in the country; who undertook Azeem’s treatment.
Azeem was immediately put on Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, which helps remove all obstructions in the air passage. Today, Azeem wakes up fresh and rejuvenated, and is able to remain active and energetic throughout the day. The treatment ensured that the oxygen levels in the body are maintained during sleep, therefore helping the body to control hormone levels, blood sugar, and general health.
Research shows that untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of vehicular crash by 2-7 times. OSA reduces a person’s efficiency, brings down his performance and pushes him and the people around him into depression. So potent is the condition that a person suffering from sleep apnea could suffocate to death in his sleep
“I started feeling the difference within four days of starting to use the CPAP machine. I am thankful to my boss and Dr .Manvir Bhatia for bringing me back to life.”
Azeem says he feels remarkably energetic these days. His motivation has increased, he does not feel sleepy while driving or sitting and he is able to wake up fresh even if he goes to bed late. His diabetes and blood pressure are also under control and he spends quality time with his family. His eyes sparkle when he talks about the effect of the treatment.