Kellie M. Walsh

Writer • Editor • UX Designer • Content Strategist

A Mighty Blow Against Sleep Apnea


Folks Magazine (PillPack)

By teaching them to play the didgeridoo, Alex Suarez helps fellow sleep apnea sufferers breathe easier.

Alex Suarez’s wife had been enduring his snoring for more than a decade. But it was one particular night in 2000 when his snoring–and breathing–stopped that really concerned her. So much so, she pushed him out of bed.
Suarez, then a 34-year-old martial arts instructor, was diagnosed with sleep apnea, a chronic sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing shallows or stops for seconds or minutes, often dozens or even hundreds of times per night. In addition to the obvious grogginess, sleep apnea can increase a person’s chances of heart disease or failure, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.
Then, as now, the primary treatment options for sleep apnea were surgery or use of a breathing device called a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), which uses mild air pressure to keep a person’s airways open by way of a steady stream of air delivered through a face mask.
Surgery wasn’t an option for Suarez’s condition, so he tried the CPAP. But his experience was anything but restful. . . .

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© 2017 Kellie M. Walsh