Sleep Apnea Informative Speech Essay, Research Paper
Title: Snoring is No Laughing Matter
Topic: Sleep Apnea Disorder
Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the seriousness of sleep apnea and how
you can recognize it as well as treat it.
Thesis Statement: Sleep Apnea, of all sleeping disorders, is the most likely to cause
death, but it can be treated if the symptoms are recognized.
Attention material: (With snoring sounds in background) Does this sound familiar?
Do these sounds keep you up all night? Are you a snorer? If so, you are not
alone. A National Family Opinion Poll revealed that 90 million people snore –
37 million on a regular basis (CNS). Yes, it can quite a nuisance, but it can also be
the result of a very serious condition.
Credibility material: My dad used to wake my family up and keep us up all night with
his snoring. It just seemed to get louder and louder. Very annoying, because I,
and I?m sure many of you, need my sleep. The gasps for air between what
sounded like growls from a grisly began to worry my mother. After seeing a
specialist, my father was diagnosed with a severe case of sleep apnea.
Thesis statement: Sleep apnea is the most likely of all sleeping disorders to cause death,
but it can be treated if the symptoms are recognized (Greenberg).
(Transition: Sleep apnea affects 12 million Americans of various age, gender, and
The word ?apnea? is the Greek word for ?without air?.
When someone snores, there is a partial collapse of the air passage in the throat.
But, in sufferers of sleep apnea, there is a complete obstruction to airflow.
The word ?apnea? is the actual absence of airflow. It can last from 10 seconds
to 2 minutes. One will usually have 300-500 apneas a night (CNS).
Despite the airflow blockage, the person still tries to breath, but no air passes
through. This results in an ?arousal?, or brief awakening, which is usually
accompanied by a loud snore.
The arousal opens the airway, and the person breaths rapidly for a short time.
Then, they have another apnea. This is a continuous cycle.
Alcohol and sleeping medicines can impair one?s ability to have an ?arousal?
and may not wake up during the apnea. This is how one may die from this
condition because the lack of air can lead to hypoxia, or lack of oxygen
getting to the brain (Krames).
(Transition: Sleep apnea can also affect other areas of life.)
Sufferers never are able to reach deep sleep.
Sleep apnea results in restless sleepers.
The condition also causes daytime sleepiness, memory lapses, and irritability.
The disturbances in sleep also throw off the body?s metabolism and can cause
obesity. The most common sufferers are middle-aged overweight males (CNS).
(Transition: Since this is a progressive and life-altering disease, it is important
to recognize the symptoms so they can be treated.)
Sleep apnea can be treated by prosthetic devices and surgery.
The most commonly used prosthetic device is the CPAP (Krames).
The CPAP, or nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, is made up of
an airflow generator, flexible hose, and nasal mask.
It gently blows air into the throat to keep the air passage open.
It is effective on almost all patients, but it is not a cure.
Surgery can also be used to treat sleep apnea.
This usually involves relieving the nasal passage of any obstructions.
Sometimes, ones soft palate, uvula, or pharynx are reduced or removed.
(Transition: Therefore, once aware of the condition, the necessary steps should
be taken to treat it.)
Summary statement: In conclusion, if you or someone you know snores, don?t drown
out the noise by burying your head in the pillows. Instead, listen for the symptoms
of this scary condition and maybe you can save the life of someone you care about.
Concluding remarks: To find out more information about sleep apnea, seek advice from
your doctor or a ear/nose/throat specialist.
American Sleep Apnea Association, ?Information About Sleep Apnea,?
http:/www.sleepapnea.org. Undated posting. Downloaded November
Greenberg, Joel. ?The Aging of Sleep,? Science News. 1 July 1978: 10-12.
CNS Inc., ?Snoring: Causes and Treatments.? Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1996.
Krames Communications. ?Snoring and Sleep Apnea.? San Bruno, CA, 1995.
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