The Undiagnosed Story of Sleep Apnea on The Morning Blend

The Undiagnosed Story of Sleep Apnea
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Published on
April 5, 2021
Updated on
April 8, 2021

What if you were unaware that you were living with an underlying disease that impacted your daily life and could ultimately lead to other diseases or cut your life short? ADVENT Founder and CEO, Dr. Madan Kandula, went on The Morning Blend to talk about this massively undertreated disease.

Molly (00:08):

Welcome back. It is our continuing series Sleep Well, Breathe Well with ADVENT. We all know it's important to get a good night's rest, but one very common sleep issue can lead to much more serious problems, even death. And that's exactly what happened to David. Here's his story,

David (00:25):

You know, I didn't even know I was suffering from sleep apnea until I came in for treatment. I was tired all the time and it seemed like I never got to get enough sleep. I was tired in the morning, tired in the afternoon. I was falling asleep at work, falling asleep at my desk. And I just thought, maybe this is what life is like in my mid fifties. But after talking to some other people, I found out that doesn't have to be this way. And that's what led me to ADVENT. I thought the care was excellent. From, you know, all the way from the surgeon, all the way down to the email confirmations of appointments, everything would work really smoothly and very efficiently. I started first with just a C-PAP mask, and that made a big change for me because I was finally getting more efficient sleep, but it was also clear that I wasn't breathing through my nose very well, and I was struggling to just breathe normally.

And it was almost like bad eyesight in that I, I didn't, this came on over years and I didn't notice it until, you know, they recommended the surgery and getting things cleared out. Since the procedure, the quality of my life has changed dramatically. I am much more alert. I'm much more focused. I can do my job better. I don't have to sleep as much at night. I've gone from nine, ten hours a night down to seven and I'm alert from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. And I just find that I'm just in a much better state of mind all around.

Molly (01:54):

Hmm. There are a lot of people like David, in fact, 80% of people living with obstructive sleep apnea are never diagnosed. ADVENT Founder and CEO, Dr. Madan Kandula, is here to explain good morning to you doctor.

Dr. Kandula (02:07):

Good morning.

Molly (02:09):

You know, it makes me sad to hear people like David talk about not just how tired they are, but just that they think it's something that they should accept that it's part of getting older and that things aren't going to change. Do you hear that a lot?

Dr. Kandula (02:24):

Yeah. All the time. All the time. And really, just like David, a lot of folks don't recognize how bad they had it until we flip the switch and all of a sudden they have the life that they're supposed to have. For many folks, just like David, it sneaks up on you. So it's gradually taking away something from your life, quality sleep, which then leads to, you know, daytime issues, which leads to other issues like diabetes and heart attacks and those sorts of things. And it's a ticking time bomb that's just ready to go off for many folks. And so, you know, really part of the reason we want to do the series is to get the word out that you don't have to live like this, that there are options. And that, you know, really getting on the other side of this is so important.

Molly (03:02):

And that's why I appreciate David's story so much because I think it's something that a lot of people complain of, a lot of people can identify with, whether it's themselves or a partner. And I wonder if there are other warning signs, things that people should be looking for, that might be an indication that it's sleep apnea.

Dr. Kandula (03:20):

Yeah, there are many. One, if you're tired during the day consistently, that's a common sign, but morning headaches, high blood pressure... You know, really many things can kind of come back to this. So I guess what I would say is if you're suffering from issues during the day, or you're suffering from health conditions that may be connected to sleep apnea, think about what might be happening when you're sleeping at night. If you're snoring, when you're sleeping at night and you have other issues going on like I just mentioned then I would almost flip it around to say you likely have sleep apnea unless proven otherwise that that's a good way to go about this, a good way to really get to the bottom line for a lot of folks and a good way to put an end to the suffering for a lot of folks.

Molly (04:01):

Well, it's interesting too, because I think when you talk about things like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart issues, stroke, even anxiety, people think those are related to completely different things, including just regular aging rather than a sleep issue.

Dr. Kandula (04:16):

Yeah, absolutely. I think most people don't understand the profound impact that these issues have. And I think part of the issue is that as a medical community, we've done a poor job of explaining that. I'm here to try to cut through some of that noise and to really reach out to those folks who are suffering and say, you know, there are options, there are things that can be done. This is massively impactful throughout somebody's life. This isn't just a sleep issue. This is a sleep issue that affects somebody's day and night and life and week and month. And it's one of those things that there are a few health issues that have such a profound impact on some of these overall health-sleep apnea is at the top of that list.

Molly (04:54):

I appreciate too, in David's story that he shared, okay he started wearing a C-PAP machine and it seemed that things started to improve, but then he also said that it wasn't until he came to ADVENT, that he realized he had sinus issues. And I wonder if that's also something that you see quite often.

Dr. Kandula (05:11):

Yeah, very common. So just to play the odds, you know, really a hundred percent of folks who have obstructive sleep apnea have a throat issue. That's where the issues lie. 70 to 80% of those same individuals have a nose issue or sinus issue that's compounding that throat issue. And so if you don't start with the nose, if you don't get somebody's nose working first, sleep apnea treatments are an uphill battle. If you get somebody's nose treated first and then move on to the sleep apnea treatments, it can oftentimes almost all the time be a downhill battle. That simple change, which is why ADVENT exists really, is what makes all the difference in the world.

Molly (05:47):

Can all of the solutions or the treatments be done in office to fix these things?

Dr. Kandula (05:54):

Yeah. Almost all the time. So, you know, we are aligned with our patients. Patients don't want to go to surgery unless they have to. We are surgeons. We can do surgery if necessary, but we are surgeons who the least likely thing we'll do for somebody is surgery if they have sleep apnea. We'll likely treat them in the office. We have remarkably effective and efficient procedures that take a few minutes. We can do them in the office, get somebody's nose working, and then move on to other treatments if necessary for the sleep apnea. So it's really a very, very patient friendly approach. And it really just tries to make it as easy as possible for people to do the right thing.

Molly (06:27):

And so encouraging to not only get a better night's sleep, but try to avoid some of these other really significant health issues. Doctor, thank you so much for your time today.

Dr. Kandula (06:35):

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Molly (06:37):

Yeah. And thank you to David for sharing his story. You can schedule an appointment online. It just takes 60 seconds. Go to Most insurances are accepted and no referral is required. ADVENT has locations in Wauwatosa, Mequon, Oconomowoc, Oak Creek and Pleasant Prairie.

First published by ADVENT on
April 5, 2021
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The Undiagnosed Story of Sleep Apnea on The Morning Blend