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Sleep apnea and attention deficit

I have been having trouble with attention deficit symptoms that have progressively worsened over the past 2-3 years. I was talking with a friend who said that he used to have similar problems and that he was finally diagnosed with sleep apnea. Once he started using a CPAP machine, his apnea was much better, his wife would not have to sleep on the couch, and his cognitive functioning was markedly improved. The research on sleep apnea that I have been reading indicates that sleep apnea can cause attention deficit troubles.

I am pretty sure I'm a good candidate for sleep apnea, as I reflect two of the three common risk factors: overweight, middle-aged, male. I'm 25, so I'll let you guess which two I fit. I'm 5'10 1/2" and weigh in at around 230. The most basic treatment for sleep apnea is to lose weight. After that, tests and such have to be run that would be a strain on my student budget. I have health insurance, but $300 for a test that I wasn't planning for is a little steep.

So, all that being said, anyone here have experience with sleep apnea? Did you experience attention deficit troubles as a result? How much did correcting your sleep apnea help your attention deficit symptoms? What treatments helped you? Did simply losing weight help or do you use a CPAP? I don't think I am a candidate for SA surgery, but if anyone has any experience with that, I would like to hear about that as well. I have contemplated taking medication for the attention deficit symptoms, but I would much rather fix the problem than treat the symptoms.

Thanks in advance.

geomantic8's picture

Ecg, Thanks for the great response....


Thanks for the great response. Your comparison to near-sightedness is an excellent analogy. Fortunately, I am at the beginning of the diagnosis/treatment phase and have already taken several steps to get help. I also have the Hallowell & Ratey book and heartily second your recommendation. In fact, your entire post squares with all the good information I've already received and I hope that those readers that recognize themselves in this thread would heed your sound advice.





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