I never knew what Sleep Apnoea was and just how serious it could affect my life until I started researching some health changes which I was experiencing.

I had high blood pressure. I was prescribed some medication for it and it still was not well controlled. I felt unwell, felt low and couldn’t figure out why. I was putting on weight and just couldn’t sleep at all well at night. I would wake up with a dry sore throat from sleeping with my mouth open all night. I would feel like I was gasping for air and I feared choking.

My wife has always complained about my snoring and how terribly disruptive it was, especially for her. She used to have to go to bed before me or sleep in another room because of the noise I was making. Holidays were becoming more fractious, bed sharing or room sharing were a challenge. When I look back now I realise how thoughtless I was in the whole situation and I genuinely feel badly that I didn’t do something about it a lot earlier. The situation was not only critical to my health management, but also critical to my deteriorating relationship with my wife.

I had no clue I had Sleep Apnoea and that it was the cause of the health issues I was then experiencing. With both of us not sleeping, we were suffering sleep deprivation, simple situations would escalate to full blown arguments. Words are exchanged which normally wouldn’t be and the rapid deterioration in the relationship not only triggers physical separation, but emotional separation also. These elements are actually very harmful to relationships and the longer they remain unresolved, the harder they are to
fix. I was short-sighted in my understanding of the disruption I was causing and the damage it was doing to my health and my relationship.

I found the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic www.beacondentalsleep.ie, which was recommended to me by a friend, who had had a similar experience of snoring and all the health and personal issues associated with the problem.

My life is now changed completely.

I met with Dr Ed Owens who is an expert in Dental Sleep Medicine. He went through step- by-step detail of my problem. He referred me to a Medical Consultant , who is also a specialist in Sleep Medicine in the same Clinic. He prescribed some detailed, specific testing, to figure out what exactly was happening at night-time and how to best manage the problem. I had a hospital overnight sleep test and some additional respiratory testing. The Consultant, after a lengthy discussion decided I needed

C.P.A.P. ( mask therapy) initially, to get my symptoms under control. I found C.P.A.P. difficult to manage, however I persisted as I knew I had to at least try.

Despite all my efforts with C.P.A.P., I found I felt a lot better, especially daytime, however my night-time sleep was disrupted with the presence of the machine in our bedroom. The overnight Sleep test was repeated, this time a Home Sleep Test which my Consultant read, letting me know at my follow-on appointment that my numbers were a lot better, my blood pressure was also down to close to normal range.

I had also lost weight with the help of a dietician, organised as part of the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic. I felt so much better. As my sleep numbers were then within a decent range, the Consultant prescribed a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD), which is so much better to use than a C.P.A.P. machine. I have a beard and can often sweat a lot at night, causing the mask to steam up, which was waking me up a lot, every night.

My device was digitally made and fits me like a glove. I works by very precisely moving my lower jaw forward, opening up my airway, overnight. I now really feel the benefits. The device is adjustable under the supervision of Dr Owens and the best part is I can entirely manage this treatment solution very well myself.

I wear it religiously every night and was told to treat it like a medicine, making sure I keep it safely and always keep it with me when we travel. I travel a lot so I actually have two devices, one kept in my bathroom cabinet and one I take with me when I leave home. This ensures no matter what, I always have one to hand.

My wife and I are back in the same room, the same bed. We are so incredibly grateful that we found Dr Owens and his team in the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic and how their detailed service has changed my health for the better and our lives as a couple.