A good night's sleep is important to your well-being. Since most people spend about one third of their lives asleep, it's easy to see how the quality of sleep directly affects your everyday life. If you are having sleep problems, click on sleep apnea assessment and answer the questions. If you answer yes to more than five of these questions, you may have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or more, up to several hundred times a night. The person has to wake up to breathe again and usually doesn't remember it. As sleep is disrupted night after night, progressive daytime sleepiness develops often leading to irritability, inattention and an inability to perform daytime functions effectively. Often family members first notice signs of sleep apnea - the extremely loud, heavy snoring, often interrupted by pauses and gasps.
In addition to causing daytime sleepiness and the inability to complete everyday functions, the periods of apnea can lead to high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, stroke and other serious conditions. To address this problem and diagnose obstructive sleep apnea, Kent Hospital provides overnight sleep studies (polysomnography) in the Sleep Lab. In addition, daytime nap studies are conducted to determine narcolepsy. Periodic limb movement syndrome can also be evaluated during a sleep study.
When your physician suspects that you might be experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, a sleep study can be ordered to obtain an accurate diagnosis. You will be scheduled to spend the night in the Sleep Lab where your heart, breathing, brain waves and other vital signs will be monitored by sensors placed on your skin. The results are then evaluated by Sleep Lab physicians who are trained in sleep disorders medicine.
Once the diagnosis is established, treatment can be instituted. It may include changing or improving sleep habits, weight loss, medication, continuous positive airway pressure, surgery or mouth devices. Treatment depends upon the cause and severity of the sleep apnea as determined by careful analysis of the sleep study record.
Treatment benefits include:
Other Resources: The National Sleep Foundation
- changing or improving sleep habits
- weight loss
- continuous positive airway pressure