DCH Regional Medical Center
Sleep problems affect every aspect of an individual's life. In addition to chronic fatigue, sleepiness and restless nights, sleep problems can lead to high blood pressure, cardiac risks and many other health problems.
Properly diagnosing a sleep disorder is critical to improving the overall quality of life now and in the future.
Do you, or does someone you care about, have the following symptoms?
- Daytime fatigue
- Always sleepy
- Drowsy in the morning
- Stop breathing or gasp for air during sleep
- Frequent sore throats and dry mouth upon waking
- Need for daily naps
You could have a sleep disorder.
Ninety percent of all diagnosed sleep disorders are obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the troat muscles relax during sleep, blocking the airway and oxygen flow. This results in the person waking up to 300 times or more a night to breathe again. Surprisingly, the person may not be aware of the disturbances, even at peak levels.
How is sleep apnea treated?
There are several forms of treatment for sleep apnea. Some include changing sleep position, losing weight or surgery. However, many sleep apnea patients receive highly effective therapy with CPAP; Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This machine, which includes a lightweight mask that the user wears at night, uses air pressure to keep the airway open during sleep. An added benefit of this device is that it often eliminates snoring. Your sleep specialist can help you determine which treatment is right for you.
How can you get a sleep disorder diagnosis?
To find out if you have sleep apnea, or another type of sleep disorder, your family physician will need to refer you to a physician specialized in sleep disorders. Chances are that a sleep study performed at a sleep lab will be recommended.
How do I get referred to a sleep specialist
with the DCH Sleep Lab?
If you think you may have a sleep disorder, inform your physician. Your physician can then determine if a referral to a sleep specialist is necessary. The sleep specialist may refer you for a sleep study.
The DCH Sleep Lab is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and offers several rooms for patients to stay overnight for sleep studies. All rooms are warm and inviting with hotel-like surroundings, traditional furnishings and a television. Upon your visit, experienced sleep technicians attach sensors to your body so they can check for several activities while you sleep, including REM sleep, brain waves, oxygen levels and even snoring. The process is completely painless. Following your test, the sleep specialist will review your results for an accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendation. These findings will be reported back to your primary physician.
If you or someone you know has sleep problems, call 343-8628 to find out how the DCH Sleep Lab can help.