HCA Gives $1 Million in Aid for Ebola Response
About Us

More Adults Turn To Sleep Studies To Treat Sleep Apnea

March 06, 2012

Augusta, GA – Millions of Americans wake up in the middle of the night thinking that they’re readjusting their sleeping position.  What many don’t know is that instead, they may be waking for a much more serious reason - to catch their breath.  These individuals are suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea.

National Sleep Awareness Week, March 5th – 12th, focuses on educating patients about this common disorder which occurs when the air passage in one’s throat is blocked or has collapsed.  The blockage creates long pauses in breathing, lasting from seconds to minutes.  These intermittent pauses can occur anywhere from five to thirty times, or more, per hour.

“Sleep apnea can be very dangerous if not treated and many don’t even know they have it,” says Jeri Jones, Manager of the Accredited Sleep Center at Doctors Hospital.  “Most of our sleep study patients are encouraged by their spouses to come in since they also suffer from the effects, most commonly loud snoring and restlessness that go along with sleep apnea.”

One of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea deprives a person’s body from rest, which can cause major health issues including heart failure, if not treated early.

“I knew that my health was going to get worse if I didn’t figure out soon why I had a major lack of energy each morning,” says Donna Graham, sleep apnea patient.  “Shockingly, my sleep study revealed that I quit breathing 31 times throughout the night, one of those times lasting more than one minute.”

What happens during a sleep study?
During a sleep study, patients stay overnight at a lab which has all of the amenities that one would have at their own home.  The patient is hooked up to sensors which relay information back to a computer, monitored by a sleep lab technician.  From there, the tech can determine the severity of the patient’s sleep disorder.

Can you treat sleep apnea?
Yes.  Changing daily habits such as smoking, the use of sleep medicines and avoiding alcohol can all help cure sleep apnea.  Other changes that can help include, losing weight and sleeping on one’s side instead of their back.  While surgery and drug therapy are both options for curing sleep apnea, the most common method is the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) mask used at night.

“The CPAP mask was recommended for me and it has changed my life.  I have started dreaming again, and I didn’t even realize I had stopped,” says Graham.  “I no longer have to stop in the middle of the afternoon for my regular caffeine break, something I NEVER thought would happen.” 

To receive your FREE Apnea Link in-home sleep test and see if you meet the requirements for a sleep study call, (706) 651-2019.

Tags: