Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Disorders:

Should snoring be considered a medical problem?

I'm sure you've heard the expressions, "Laugh and the world laughs with you snore and you sleep alone", or, "you snooze....you lose". Maybe they're not so funny after all. Snoring may signal a serious medical problem that, left untreated, could be the cause of motor vehicle and work accidents, hypertension, even heart attack or stroke.

Ive heard the term a lot lately, but just what is "sleep apnea" and why is it bad to have?

An apnea is a cessation or stoppage of airflow. There are three different types of apneas, all sharing a common symptom - pauses and/or stoppages in breathing.

With Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the upper airway is temporarily blocked during sleep, causing the sleeper to loudly snore when he or she tries to breathe. The airway then obstructs, followed by an interruption in sleep to correct the obstruction. This is usually associated with a drop in blood oxygen levels and a rise in blood pressure and heart rate. All of this when the system is supposed to be at rest!! Sleep apnea interferes with the ability to sleep soundly and continuously. Affected individuals often complain that they are not well rested. In addition, to sleep disruption, the cardiovascular system is stressed, at a time when it should be resting. Individuals with significant Obstructive Sleep Apnea have a greatly exaggerated incidence of high blood pressure and its complications (heart attack, stroke and heart failure). How is it diagnosed? The first step for assistance is to talk to your physician about your symptoms. Your doctor can order an overnight polysomnogram (sleep study), the tool used to identify a sleep disorder. Ask you physician to refer you to a Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center for the most accurate diagnostic testing.

How is it diagnosed?

The first step for assistance is to talk to your physician about your symptoms. Your doctor can order an overnight polysomnogram (sleep study), the tool used to identify a sleep disorder. Ask you physician to refer you to a Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center for the most accurate diagnostic testing.

How is it treated?

There are many treatment options, depending on the severity of the apnea. These range from simply changing the sleep position, weight loss, surgical alteration of the throat, providing continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), to wearing a dental device that repositions the mandible. Each case must be evaluated individually.

What is CPAP?

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is a mechanical device that eliminates apneas (stoppages in breathing) and snoring during sleep. It uses filtered air at pressure as a splint to force your airway open if it has been closing upon itself. When used at night, CPAP is the most effective means of treating sleep apnea and snoring.

(CPAP is over 99% effective with patients who are compliant to the therapy!) 

Will my insurance cover this test?

Most insurance companies including Medicare cover sleep studies. Before your test is scheduled, we will contact your insurance company to find out specific benefit information including deductibles and possible co-payments (if any). These calls are documented for your protection.

I work during the week and can not take a day off; can I do this on a Friday or Saturday night?

Testing is done every night of the week. If the test is conducted on a night before you work in the morning, you can be awakened at a specified time. A shower is available.

Do I continue to take my normal medications?

Yes, all medications should be continued as prescribed. Please bring a list of your medications with you as this information will be useful and help us to evaluate the results of the study

Who will conduct the test?

Polysomnographic Technologists (sleep technicians) are highly trained medical professionals. Our lead technical staff are Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (RPSGT) and/or licensed Respiratory Therapists (RT) who have cross trained in polysomnography.

Can I bring my own pillow(s) to the lab?

Yes. You can also bring anything else that makes you feel comfortable (robe, blanket, slippers, etc.). We of course provide pillows and all appropriated linens.

Will any of this hurt?

No. All of the sensors are painless and non-invasive. They are applied with tape or an adhesive to the surface of the skin.

 



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