Submitted by Yvonne Gulick, Millcreek Community Hospital
Signs and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If you (or your partner) are experiencing excessive daytime fatigue, morning headaches, loud snoring, wake up abruptly gasping for air, have high blood pressure or have been observed not breathing while you sleep, you may have sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea "is a medical disorder that causes a person to stop breathing for periods of time during sleep." Sleep apnea causes the oxygen in your blood to desaturate which can cause morning headaches, high blood pressure, daytime fatigue and irritability. Additional health problems associated with sleep apnea are chronic pain, risk for stroke and heart attach. In other words, your overall health and well-being can be affected by sleep apnea.
Those who experience loud snoring have tried a variety of methods to eliminate this problem. They have tried:
Special strips that are placed on the bridge of your nose
Positional sleep therapy
Sleeping while sitting upright
Sleeping in another so as not to disturb their partner
Most have found little success with these techniques. If you or your partner are experiencing any of the above symptoms or have tried any of the above techniques to stop snoring, contact your physician. You may benefit from a Polysomnography (PSG), also known as a "sleep study." If you are diagnosed positive for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you will need to complete a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapeutic Titration Study. This particular study uses a CPAP machine to help you breathe more easily during sleep. This specific study is conducted in a hospital or clinical lab by a Sleep Technologist.
We at Millcreek Community Hospital, in conjunction with Vantage Sleep Diagnostic Services, are dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. If your physician recommends a sleep study, please go to our website at www.millcreekcommunityhospital.com. Click on "Services and Program," then click on "Sleep Services." You may also call 877-256-4904 for more information.