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    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
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    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
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    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00

News

How To Stop Snoring

Dear Savvy Senior,

Over the past few years my 57-year-old husband’s snoring has gotten much worse. It’s to the point that I have to either wear earplugs or move to a different room. Any suggestions?

Sleep Deprived Susan

 Dear Susan,

Snoring is a very common problem that often gets worse with age. Around 37 million Americans snore on a regular basis according to the National Sleep Center.

Snoring occurs when the airway narrows or is partly blocked during sleep usually due to nasal congestion, floppy tissue, alcohol, or enlarged tonsils. But you and your husband also need to know that snoring can be much more than just an annoyance. It can also be a red flag for obstructive sleep apnea, a serious condition in which the snorer stops and starts breathing during sleep, increasing the risks of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia and hypertension. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 34 percent of men and 19 percent of women who snore routinely have sleep apnea or are at risk for it.

Self-Help Remedies

Even if you are unsure whether your husband has a primary snoring problem or sleep apnea, sleep experts suggest you start with these steps.

Open a stuffy nose: If nasal congestion is causing your husband to snore, over-the-counter nasal strips such as Breathe Right may help. Or, if allergies are the cause, try saline nasal sprays.

Elevate his head: Buying a foam wedge to elevate his head a few inches can help reduce snoring, or buy him a contoured pillow to lift his chin and keep the tongue from blocking the back of his throat as he sleeps. Also check out Nora (smartnora.com), a wireless snoring device that slides under the pillow and gently moves the head to a different position when snoring is detected. This, they say, stimulates the relaxed throat muscles and opens the airway.

Sleep on side: To prevent back sleeping, which triggers snoring, place a pillow against your husbands back to keep him from rolling over or sew a tennis ball in the back of his pajama shirt. Or check out the Night Shift Sleep Positioner (nightshifttherapy.com), a device that’s worn around the neck that vibrates when you roll on your back.

Avoid alcohol before bed: Alcoholic beverages can relax the muscles in the throat, and constrict airflow. He should not consume alcohol three to four hours before bedtime.

Lose excess weight: Fat around the neck can compress the upper airway and impede airflow and is often associated with sleep apnea.

Quit smoking: Smoking causes inflammation in the upper airways that can make snoring worse.

Need More Help

If these lifestyle strategies don’t make a big difference, your husband should see his doctor, a sleep specialist, or an otolaryngologist who may recommend an overnight study to test him for apnea.

For primary snoring or mild to moderate sleep apnea, an oral appliance that fits into the mouth like a retainer may be prescribed. This shifts the lower jaw and tongue forward, keeping the airway open.

Some other options are Theravent snore therapy (theraventsnoring.com) and Provent sleep apnea therapy (proventtherapy.com), which are small nasal devices that attach over the nostrils to improve airflow.

But the gold standard for moderate to severe sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, device. This involves sleeping with a mask and is hooked up to a machine that gently blows air up your nose to keep the passages open.

If these don’t work or are intolerable, surgery is an option too. There are procedures available today that remove excess tissue in the nose, mouth, or throat. And a newer procedure called hypoglossal nerve stimulation that uses a small device implanted in the chest to help control the movement of the tongue when it blocks the airway.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

 by Jim Miller

 

Peabody’s Finest honored at Bruins’ First Responders Night

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On Tuesday night, February 28 a large cohort of firefighters and police officers from Peabody attended First Responders Night at the TD Garden and cheered on the Boston Bruins. Every year the Bruins hold a first responders night honoring the men and women in uniform who risk their lives to protect their fellow citizens.

Peabody Firefighter John Soares helped put together the event, in which 22 firefighters and two police officers watched the Bruins claim victory, 4-1, over the Arizona Coyotes. During the game some of the officers chanced upon the color commentators’ booth and were able to take photos with the announcers. “We were in the right place at the right time,” said Soares.

He is also responsible for the Peabody Fire Department’s participation in raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which holds an event later this spring. On May 4 from 6-9 p.m., a number of firemen will be holding a fundraiser at King’s Bowling in Lynnfield with the proceeds going towards the organization. The event, titled Kegs and Corks 4 MDA, will feature beer and wine tasting. To find out more about the event, visit www.facebook.com/PeabodyFirefighters4MDA.

By Melanie Higgins


 

Mayor declines bump in salary

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In a letter dated February 15, Mayor Ted Bettencourt requested that the City Council not vote to raise his salary. The mayor’s current salary stands at $110,000 per year.

“As per Ordinance, the City Council will conduct its yearly review of the Mayor’s salary. I would respectfully request that no salary increase be authorized for Fiscal Year 2018. Thank you for your continued work for the City of Peabody,” Bettencourt said in the letter.

Bettencourt’s salary stands around the same compared to similarly sized cities. Salem’s Mayor, Kim Driscoll, earns $120,000, while Bettencourt earns $110,000 and Beverly’s Mike Cahill $100,000 – although his is slated to increase to $110,000 in 2018.

Peabody’s mayors have a tradition of a modest approach to their pay. Former Mayor Michael Bonfanti refused a raise during his entire tenure.

Bettencourt last received a raise in 2016 when his salary increased from $105,000 to $110,000, despite not requesting a raise. Accordingly, councillors’ pay also went up, since any increases are consequently tied to the mayor’s increases. Ward 1 Councillor Jon Turco said that councillors were mostly okay with not receiving a raise this year, in lieu of the mayor declining one himself.

The mayor could not be reached for comment; however, Turco said that he believes Bettencourt denied the raise because of his commitment to the city. “He became mayor because he loves the city of Peabody,” Turco said.

On the other hand, Turco believes Bettencourt is underpaid for the job. “I’ve always believed he has been far underpaid, for servicing 56,000 people and the amount of work he puts in,” Turco said.

By Melanie Higgins


   

Local filmmaker a finalist in NESN competition

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David Apostolides’ new film is the reel deal. Working with partner JJ Moran, the Suffolk University students have created a picture that has made it all the way to the finals in a New England Sports Network (NESN) competition that features a $20,000 prize and job opportunity at the channel.

Apostolides says he was optimistic about their chances. “We’re honored for the opportunity,” said the media production junior and Peabody native. “We’re honored to be recognized. We were proud of the work we got out so it wasn’t surprising.”

Apostolides got the idea for his film based on his freshman year roommate, Jake Damphousse, who was destined to be a talented pitcher for Suffolk but was thwarted by injuries. After being told that he required a second Tommy John surgery, Damphousse decided to call it quits before his career even got off the ground. Instead, Apostolides said, he took up drumming and has since excelled as a musician. But his love for the game hasn’t faded. “The story is really about overcoming adversity through the lens of sports,” Apostolides said.

The pair originally had to parse through three to four hours of footage to fit into the maximum 4 ½ minutes the contest allowed. Overall, it took them about a month to film. Now the short film, titled “Giving up the Game” is among the few pictures in contention for the prize. In about a month’s time the top three will go for further competition. The duo’s film aired on NESN last Saturday, March 4.

Apostolides said he was partly inspired to shoot the film through his own experiences in baseball. The Suffolk junior previously played baseball all four years for Peabody High School. Despite his love for the game, he decided to place it on the back burner to focus more on filmmaking.

The students are also in the process of producing another film. Titled “Beyond Borders,” the political documentary “explores the global impact of our American political system,” according to Apostolides. The students hope that through crowdfunding they might be able to travel to other countries and speak with international students to observe the impact of American politics on other nations. “It’s an issue that affects everybody,” he said.

By Melanie Higgins


 

Police Chief welcomes trio of new officers

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Peabody Police Chief Thomas M. Griffin is pleased to announce that the department has, once again, increased its complement of officers. Three new officers have recently graduated from the Reading Police Academy, an accredited facility through the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council. The new officers – Joanna Kamouzis, Jonathan Blodgett and Michael Donovan – will be required to successfully complete an extensive Field Training Program before being officially assigned to a specific duty.

“Fortunately, due to budgeting and retirements, over a period of two–three years we have been able to hire several new officers to maintain and increase our staffing levels. Hiring new staff enhances the department in all aspects and increases public safety, ensuring residents that quality services are available. As new officers come onboard, we can promote within and build our command staff; this includes enhancing our specialized positions. All of our officers are highly trained within each of our divisions, such as Patrol, Special Operations (traffic and events) and the Criminal Investigations Division,” said Chief Griffin.

He added, “I am extremely proud of the professionalism and functionality displayed by the department during the recent tragic homicides that occurred within our city. This type of isolated incident alarms the community and focuses on the department for quick resolution and assurance that residents and visitors are safe within … Peabody. Our officers worked diligently and quickly took into custody the two alleged suspects, Wes Doughty and Michael Hebb.”

   

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