San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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August 30th, 2008
Greater Rotary Club host Bermudez

The Greater Rotary Club of San Marcos held their regular scheduled meeting on Friday at the Salt Grass Restaurant in San Marcos. The meeting was led by President Diane Laumer.

Speakers Jario L. Bermudez, MD, and Lydia Serna Business Development Director for Texas State University Sleep Lab and Total Respiratory spoke to the group about sleep apnea and other healthcare issues. The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed; of the three, obstructive is the most common. Despite the difference in the root cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. In central sleep apnea, the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. Mixed apnea, as the name implies, is a combination of the two. With each apnea event, the brain briefly arouses people with sleep apnea in order for them to resume breathing, but consequently sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality.

Sleep apnea is very common, as common as adult diabetes, and affects more than twelve million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of forty, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. Yet still because of the lack of awareness by the public and healthcare professionals, the vast majority remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences.

Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated. Several treatment options exist, and research into additional options continues.

The group put final touches on providing medical and school supplies for children in Mexico. They will meet on September 5th at the Police Department Auditorium and will pack over two hundred packets for needy children across the border.

Laumer talked to the group about the upcoming golf tournament on October 11th, the group will release more information later on how to become more involved. The event entitled Scramble for Scholarship will be the major fundraiser for the Greater Rotary group this year. For more information on the golf tournament, contact Cathy Lara by electronic mail at
The Greater Rotarians member Chris Baker will present Nathan Macias on September 5, 2008 at noon at the Salt Grass Restaurant in San Marcos.

From Staff Reports

 Click here for the sponsorship form in .pdf format.

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