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Sleep Disorders May Be More Harmful Than You Think

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Loud heavy snoring can be more than annoying - it can kill. FOX 29's Joyce Evans follows the journey of one of our co-workers seeking relief.

"Schwartz" is what we called him here at FOX 29, and you can find him inside Edit Bay 4 mixing up sounds and videos- adding more punch to our product.

But these aren't the only monitors his eyes are glued to these days.  At home there's only one volume turned up full blast all night. His wife records it for proof.

"There's nothing I can do. I've tried everything.  Just when I'm trying to go to sleep, it gets louder and louder and more intense," Jodi Schwartz said

But it's gotten progressively worse over a decade, and sending Jodi running for quiet if she can find any.

"I feel horrible, I do I feel absolutely horrible," Michael Schwartz said. So does she.  The professor and mother of two little ones is out of her mind sleep deprived, but it's actually much worse for Michael.

"I don't go into a deep sleep at all and I stop breathing during the night," Michael said.

Exactly what Dr. Richard Friedenheim's tests show at Abington's Sleep Disorder Center.

His chest and stomach are still working.

“They’re still moving but now there's no flow in and out of the noise," Friedenheim said.

He got a C-Pap Mask to treat mild sleep apnea, quiet his snoring, and allow restful sleep, but Mike's uvula, adenoids and tonsils are so large there's still not enough room to breathe freely.

"He snores with the machine, now I've got the machine going and he's snoring what's the point," Jodi asked.

The point now it’s affecting his health and likely to get much worse.

"Like twice the risk of stroke, associated with high blood pressure, diabetes," Friedenheim said.

Even sudden death mike agreed to a common but somewhat controversial procedure.

"He's basically going to be getting a Uvulopalatopharyngopalsty, which some would refer to as a Roto Rooter of the mouth," Friedenheim said.

This means all obstructions have to go with only a 50 percent chance of working.

"It is a really painful procedure."

The risks for this predominately are bleeding, some people have said when they drink milk it comes out of their nose temporarily."

"Nothing has worked, what makes you so sure this will?

"Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith."

He’s going with Temple Hospital's Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor Ahmed Soliman, a top head and neck surgeon.

But he says Michael is young and healthy at 45, but his healing process...

"Would I rather break and arm than go through this again? I'd rather break and arm. Well you don't need your arm to eat," he said.

The mother of all pain, he's stuck in the house for weeks existing on water ice, protein drinks, liquid pain meds, and lots of TV.

 

One Month Later

Opened wide and sounding great but still healing so no caffeine, easy on solid foods, and no C-Pap machine.

"I still have some uncomfortable but manageable pain," Michael said.

A tougher recovery than Doctor Soliman expected, still.

Soliman says he may still snore, but  Mike is completely healed.  He expects to see no sleep apnea on his next sleep study. He's also lost almost 20 pounds. 

"I think the benefits far out-weigh any recovery time, pain and suffering I went thru I think it will make our house a lot happier," Michael said.

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