Sleep plays a vital role in your health and well-being, but if you're one of the 22 million Americans experiencing sleep apnea, the quality of your sleep – and, as a result, your health – may suffer. Tri-County Health Care provides sleep apnea services to help you get a good night's sleep.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing starts and stops repeatedly during sleep. It is the most common sleep disorder. It’s estimated that up to 15 percent of the population has respiratory-related sleep problems.
Loud snoring, along with excessive daytime drowsiness, are associated with sleep apnea. In addition, sleep apnea has been linked to heart problems, weight gain, impotence and even sudden death while sleeping. It can also be associated with high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and possibly shortened life span.
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, caused when the throat muscles relax and begin to close. People with this condition actually stop breathing while they are asleep for a period ranging from a few seconds to more than a minute.
Common effects of sleep apnea include:
- Awakening suddenly at night with a choking feeling or gasping for breath
- Arms or legs flailing during sleep and often kicking your bed partner
- Frequently waking up with a headache and/or groggy feeling
- Falling asleep while driving, at work or in a social setting
- Feeling drowsy during the day, even after a full night’s sleep
- Chronic exhaustion and personality changes such as depression or irritability
What can I do about sleep apnea?
Diagnosis of a sleep disorder begins with a thorough history and physical examination. If further diagnostic work-up is required, a sleep evaluation study may be conducted. Patient education and continual follow-up after diagnosis ensures that each patient achieves some form of relief.
Treating sleep apnea
Treatments can include behavioral therapy, weight loss, the application of continuous positive airway pressure during sleep, the judicious use of medicines or, in some cases, surgical intervention.
Tri-County Health Care works closely with Precision Diagnostic Services, Inc. (PDS) to provide sleep apnea services to its patients. PDS is a private, independent laboratory specializing in ambulatory and inpatient sleep disorder testing. It collaborates with healthcare facilities and communities to establish much-needed programs for sleep disorders. PDS has contributed to national standardization of ambulatory polysomnography (a type of sleep study) and works closely with providers to give patients the diagnostic and therapeutic evaluation necessary for treatment of sleep breathing disorders.
Sleep better tonight. Contact Tri-County Health Care today.