Welcome to Lung and Wellness Sleep Disorder Center. We are a growing network of Sleep and
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Centers in Western Pennsylvania owned and operated by 2 Respiratory Therapy Professionals with 60 years of combined clinical experience. Our reputation has been built on patient satisfaction, comfort and excellent sleep study data. We also realize how important it is to make our sleep environment more like a home than a hospital setting.
Sleep Apnea is a serious medical condition in which breathing stops or gets very shallow while sleeping. Each pause in breathing can last for 10 to 20 seconds or more. These pauses can also occur 20 to 30 times or more each hour. If left untreated, sleep apnea will put you at risk for serious health problems including: Stroke, High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Diabetes, Memory Problems, Job Impairment, Depression, and Severe Daytime Fatigue.
The most common type of sleep apnea is
obstructive sleep apnea. During sleep, enough air cannot flow into your lungs through your mouth and nose even though you try to breathe. When this
happens, the amount of oxygen in your blood may drop. Normal breaths then start again with a loud snort or choking sound.
When your sleep is upset throughout the night, you can be very sleepy during the day. With sleep apnea, your sleep is not restful because:
- These brief episodes of increased airway resistance (and breathing pauses) occur many times.
- You may have many brief drops in the oxygen levels in your blood.
- You move out of deep sleep and into light sleep several times during the night, resulting in poor sleep quality.
People with sleep apnea often have loud snoring. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Some people with sleep apnea don’t know they snore.
- Sleep apnea happens more often in people who are overweight, but even thin people can have it.
- Most people don’t know they have sleep apnea. They don’t know that they are having problems breathing while they are sleeping.
- A family member and/or bed partner may notice the signs of sleep apnea first.
1 in 10 adults have sleep apnea, however, 90% go undiagnosed, even with the following sleep apnea warning signs. Partner Witnessed Apnea, Snoring or Gasping, High Blood Pressure, Irritability, fatigue, Waking Headaches or Sore Throats, Obesity, Large Neck Size, or Acid Reflux Disease.
If you find you have signs and symptoms, you may need a sleep study.
A sleep study is called a polysomnogram (poly-SOM-no-gram), or PSG. This test records:
- Brain activity
- Eye movement
- Muscle activity
- Breathing and heart rate
- How much air moves in and out of your lungs while you are sleeping
- The percentage of oxygen in your blood
A PSG is painless. You will go to sleep as usual. The staff at the sleep center will monitor your sleep throughout the night. The results of your PSG will be analyzed by a sleep medicine specialist to see if you have sleep apnea, how severe it is, and what treatment may be recommended.
In certain circumstances, the PSG can be done
at home. A home monitor can be used to record your heart rate, how air moves in and out of your lungs, the amount of oxygen in your blood, and
your breathing effort.
Once all your tests are completed, the sleep
medicine specialist will review the results and work with you and your family to develop a treatment plan. In some cases, you may also need to
see another physician for evaluation of:
- Lung problems (treated by a pulmonologist)
- Problems with the brain or nerves (treated by a neurologist)
- Heart or blood pressure problems (treated by a cardiologist)
- Ear, nose, or throat problems (treated by an ENT specialist)
Mental health, such as anxiety or depression (treated by a psychologist or psychiatrist)
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Treatment is aimed at restoring regular
nighttime breathing and relieving symptoms such as very loud snoring and daytime sleepiness. Treatment will also help associated medical problems,
such as high blood pressure, and reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke.
Changes in Activities or Habits
If you have mild sleep apnea, some changes in daily activities or habits may be all that are needed:
- Avoid alcohol, smoking, and medicines that make you sleepy. They make it harder for your throat to stay open while you sleep.
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Even a little weight loss can improve your symptoms.
- Sleep on your side instead of your back. Sleeping on your side may help keep your throat open.
People with moderate or severe sleep apnea will need to make these changes as well. They also will need other treatments, such as the following.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is
the most common treatment for sleep apnea. For this treatment, you wear a mask over your nose during sleep. The mask blows air into your throat at
a pressure level that is right for you. The increased airway pressure keeps the throat open while you sleep. The air pressure is adjusted so that it is just enough to stop the airways from briefly getting too small during sleep.
Treating sleep apnea may help you stop snoring. Stopping snoring does not mean that you no longer have sleep apnea or that you can stop using CPAP.
Sleep apnea will return if CPAP is stopped or if it is not used correctlyCPAP treatment may cause side effects in some people.
Some side effects are:
- Dry or stuffy nose
- Irritation of the skin on your face
- Bloating of your stomach
- Sore eyes
If you are having trouble with CPAP side effects, work with your sleep medicine specialist and technician. Together you can do things to reduce these side effects, such as:
- Use a nasal spray to relieve a dry, stuffy, or runny nose.
- Adjust the CPAP settings.
- Adjust the size/fit of the mask.
- Add moisture to the air as it flows through the mask.
- Use a CPAP machine that can automatically adjust the amount of air pressure to the level that is required to keep the airway open.
- Use a CPAP machine that will start with a low air pressure and slowly increase the air pressure as you fall asleep.
People with severe sleep apnea symptoms
generally feel much better once they begin treatment with CPAP. When using CPAP, it is very important that you follow up with your doctor. If you
are having side effects, talk to your doctor.
A mouthpiece (oral appliance) may be helpful in some people with mild sleep apnea.
A custom-fit plastic mouthpiece will be made by a dentist or
orthodontist. An orthodontist is a specialist in correcting teeth or jaw problems. The mouthpiece will adjust your lower jaw and your
tongue to help keep the airway in your throat open while you are sleeping. Air can then flow easily into your lungs because there is less resistance to breathing.
Why choose Lung and Wellness Sleep Lab?
Because you are our first priority. We have a professional, caring staff and private, comfortable rooms and available showers. We are open 7 days / week with quick appointment times and a 1 week report turn around. We use state of the art equipment and test pediatric patients as well. All patients are served continental breakfast to get you on your way!
Let us assist you in achieving a healthy, productive life, which depends on a rested and energized body and mind.
Brighter Days Begin at Night…..See Your Life Differently Here!
Call us today for an appointment! Butler 724-256-9606 or Natrona Heights 724-904-7794