Special C-PAP Device Controls Tinley Park Woman's Sleep Apnea

When Nancy Lueder's family broke the news that her chronic snoring was keeping them up at night, the 48-year-old Tinley Park woman refused to believe them at first.

But then again, she seldom felt refreshed when she awoke in the morning. Then there were the frequent choking spells that woke her up at night. Daytime sleepiness, frequent naps and low energy were starting to take their toll. Nancy finally admitted she might have a sleep disorder.

After a visit with her primary care doctor, Angelo Tsakopoulos, M.D., Nancy scheduled a consultation with the Ingalls Sleep Center in Tinley Park, where Bsher Touleimat, M.D., board-certified sleep specialist and pulmonologist, ordered a professional sleep study.

"When I went in for the study, I thought I slept the whole night through," she said. "But when I got the results, I had slept for only two hours and stopped breathing almost 100 times. It really scared me."

Nancy was diagnosed with sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. The most common symptoms are loud snoring and feeling tired after a full night's sleep.

For milder cases of sleep apnea, doctors often recommend weight loss and sleeping on your side. Because Nancy had more severe sleep apnea, Dr. Touleimat recommended a C-PAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, which delivers pressurized air into the nose via a mask, keeping the airway open and unobstructed.

Dr. Touleimat and Nancy discuss the results of her sleep study.

The only problem: Nancy wasn't comfortable wearing a mask. So technicians at the Ingalls Sleep Center fitted her with a special nasal pillow mask that fits in the nostrils instead of over her nose.

"I have a fear of masks," she said. "I don't like anything covering my face. This works great. It's two little pieces of plastic that fit inside my nose." Within weeks, Nancy said she felt like a new woman. Four years later, she can't imagine her life without it. "I don't snore anymore, and I've got so much more energy," she said. "I use it every single night. I'm a completely different person."

For more information about sleep disorders and treatments, call Ingalls Care Connection at 1.800.221.CARE(2273) or visit us on the web at www.Ingalls.org/Sleep.

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