Over 40 million Americans suffer from some type of chronic sleep disorder and many don’t even realize it. While the symptoms may seem relatively minor, the long-term effects can lead to serious health problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart disease.
St. Clair Hospital’s Sleep Disorder Center diagnoses and treats many of the common types of sleep disorders including:
- Sleep apnea – failure to breathe during sleep
- Insomnia – trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Narcolepsy – inability to stay awake despite a good night’s rest
- Myoclonus – periodic leg movements during sleep
- Oxygenation problems
- Nightmare/night terrors
The Sleep Disorders Center is staffed by registered polysomnographic technologists and respiratory therapists who are trained in Polysomnographic technology. Polysomnographic technologists are sleep technologists who have met the rigorous requirements to become credentialed by the Board of Registered Polysomnographc Technology (BRPT).
What to Expect
Your primary care physician must first complete an initial examination and consult with the Sleep Disorders Center to determine if you’re a candidate for testing. Here’s what you can expect:
- On the scheduled night of your test, you’ll be prepared for the painless test. Sensors are applied to various areas of your body including the scalp, face, chin, chest and legs. These sensors are comfortable and are attached to equipment in another room that monitors your brain waves, breathing, heart rate and muscle activity.
- After your monitoring equipment is applied, you can relax in our home-like setting. The spacious room includes a comfortable bed with a television and we can also arrange for you to have breakfast the next morning.
- While you sleep, a Polysomnographic Technologist will observe and record your sleep patterns and the information being transmitted by the sensors that are attached to your body.
- We will wake you the next day in plenty of time to return home or prepare for work.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A physician who is trained in sleep medicine will exam your results and forwards his or her findings to your primary care physician. Depending on your diagnosis, you may spend a second at the Sleep Disorders Center to better determine your level of treatment.
There have been significant advancements in the treatment of sleep disorders. One of the most common treatments includes the use of Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), which is delivered by a mask that you wear over your nose during sleep. This small device helps you with the breathing process.
Other treatments for sleep disorders may include weight loss, medications and, in some cases, surgery.
The Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center offers home sleep testing. Patients denied an in-lab study by their insurer might be eligible for a home diagnostic study. For more information please call 412.942.2035.
For more information, call St. Clair Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center at 412.942.2035 or search for a doctor in our online physician directory.
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