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Coos Bay, OR
A 28-year-old female asked about a 66-year-old male:

my dad is a vietnam vet. he drinks coolers lite every weekend.every night he chokes an gasps in sleep an yells.should he see a doctor? is it a stroke?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Rasak
Cardiology 33 years experience
YES!!: He may have sleep apnea, severe reflux or CHF. Pts that cough ,wheeze, or wake up frequently is a serious problem. Sleep apnea, a life threatening problem -pts get hypoxemic at night (low oxygen),severe GERD can cause pts to aspirate stomach acid ,and "cardiac asthma" is when pts wheeze( especially at night) as a result of lying flat associated with CHF. Other issues could contribute see a doctor
Dr. Abby Caplin
Dr. Abby Caplin commented
Integrative Medicine 40 years experience
But it's not a stroke. He may also be having PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, that has not been appropriately addressed. The yelling would seem to indicate this. Needs to see a psychotherapist for treatment if having nightmares or flashbacks.
Jul 12, 2014
Dr. Mark Rasak
Dr. Mark Rasak commented
Cardiology 33 years experience
Provided original answer
i agree with dr caplin. My worry is ,that Its too easy to pass this off as a result of PTSD and other serious conditions aren't diagnosed or treated in a timely fashion .
Jul 13, 2014
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
PTSD: Could indeed be a reaction to combat in Viet Nam, and now experiencing nitemares and flashbacks. Not a stroke but may well be significant and chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Reaction. Contact your physician, as this could be treated using an EMDR protocol or cognitive-behavioural approach.

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