“Now that I finally get a good night’s rest, I wish I’d listened to my wife sooner.”
Name: Harry Britt, Syracuse, NY
His Crouse Story: Sleep Study at Crouse - finally!
For Harry Britt, staying awake is tantamount to staying alive. That’s because the fifty-something warehouse manager and truck driver spends most of his workday behind the wheel, navigating the highways and byways of upstate New York.
From one delivery stop to the next, Britt needs to stay alert and focused, never knowing who or what may be around the bend. “Coffee was my best friend,” says Harry, looking back on the years when he relied heavily on caffeine to overcome drowsiness. Those java jumpstarts are long gone. Several years ago, Harry was diagnosed with and has been treated for apnea, a common sleep disorder.
“Now that I finally get a good night’s rest, I wish I’d listened to my wife sooner,” he says. “She begged me to go in for testing, but I just wouldn’t do it.” Harry’s wife, Sue Britt, is a nurse and recognized the classic symptoms of sleep apnea: loud and intense snoring and irregular patterns of respiration. She also knew that while snoring is widely joked about, it’s no laughing matter.
“Long-term undiagnosed sleep problems can have serious consequences,” says Stephan Alkins, MD, medical director of the Sleep Center at Crouse Hospital, who is board certified in pulmonary disease and sleep medicine. “Untreated sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes and other chronic diseases.”
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