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Sleep Disorder Network

Your Answers to Sleep Apnea

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea

A good night’s sleep is something everyone longs for and is necessary for good health. However, for many people, their sleep might be regularly interrupted by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The condition is caused by an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs while a person sleeps, causing a decrease in airflow and disruption in a person’s sleep cycle. Patients with OSA have pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while they sleep. The pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur 30 times or more an hour. This is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. OSA is associated with high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, heart rhythm problems, heart failure; even tiredness and weight gain itself. This sleep disorder is common in people who are obese and have a large neck or crowding of the upper airway but it can occur in men and women of all ages and sizes. The main symptom of sleep apnea is daytime sleepiness or fatigue.

Other symptoms include:

  • Daytime Sleepiness and Fatigue
  • Memory Loss
  • Slower Reaction Time
  • Vision Problems
  • Obesity
  • Gasping or Choking During Sleep
  • Loud Snoring
  • Witnessed Apnea
  • Hypertension
  • Irritability
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Morning Headaches
  • Fragmented Sleep

If you or someone you know has OSA, or suspects they may have OSA, call the Sleep Disorder Network today to schedule and appointment at 814-946-2845.

The Sleep Disorder Network and Facilities

The Sleep Disorder Network, located inside the Lung Disease Center of Central PA, was specifically designed with state-of-the-art equipment to evaluate, treat and follow-up with patients who experience obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as well as other sleep disorders.

Dr. Alan Kanouff and Dr. Timothy Lucas, both board certified in sleep medicine, are full time physicians at the Sleep Disorder Network who work with patients to study and make recommendations for their sleep disorders. The Sleep Disorder Network offers the convenience of the entire process taking place in one location under the excellent care of these doctors and their sleep study staff.

Sleep Disorder Network Features:

  • Highly skilled, experienced and licensed team of physicians specializing in Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Medicine
  • Two Registered Sleep Technologists (RST) Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (RPSGT)
  • Private Six-Bed Sleep Lab with Hotel-Quality Rooms and Queen-Sized Beds, Plasma Screen TVs
  • State-of-the-Art Computerized Equipment, Exclusive to Region
  • On-Site Evaluation, Treatment and Follow-up for Patients with Sleep Disorders
  • Timely Scheduling to Accommodate Patient’s Calendar
  • Efficient Turnaround for Best Results
  • Diagnostic Sleep Testing
  • Positive Pressure Titration

The Process to Diagnose OSA

The patient arrives around 8:30 p.m. and is prepared for the study. Electrodes and monitoring equipment are attached and after regular nighttime routine, the patient is asked to climb in bed around 10:00 p.m. The sleep lab technicians are highly skilled and trained to not only help patients obtain the most information from the sleep test but also to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

A large amount of data is collected during the sleep study. The doctors can determine how deep of a sleep the patient achieved, the amount of times awake, the movement during sleep, the patient’s heart rate during periods of sleep and much more.

Through the control room, the sleep study staff is able to monitor and watch the patient’s nighttime sleeping pattern. The sleep lab technician wakes the patient around 5:30 a.m., disconnects the monitoring equipment and sends the patient off for their daily routine. There are private shower facilities for those who plan on going straight to work.

The minimal investment of time you make in having a sleep study is sure to make a major, positive impact on your health and quality of life. Call the Sleep Disorder Network today to schedule and appointment at 814-946-2845.

The Treatment for OSA

The main treatment for sleep apnea is to equip the patient with a mask and breathing machine. The machine called CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), pushes air into the upper airway keeping the airway open during sleep. It treats the sleep apnea, treats the snoring, and everyone at home is happy.

The professionals at the Sleep Disorder Network will help you find the right CPAP mask to fit your specific needs. With a variety of masks to try and choose from, you will be fitted with a mask that is comfortable and snug to keep your airway open.

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale

How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations, in contrast to feeling just tired? This refers to your usual way of life in recent times. Even if you have not done some of these things recently try to work out how they would have affected you. Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation.

0 = no chance of dozing
1 = slight chance of dozing
2 = moderate chance of dozing
3 = high chance of dozing

On a scale from 0-3, how likely is dozing in these situations.

SituationChance of Dosing
Sitting and Reading
Watching TV
Sitting inactive in a public space (e.g. a theatre or meeting)
As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break
Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit
Sitting and talking to someone
Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol
In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic

If you scored 10 or greater when completing this survey and are not being treated for sleep apnea, you may be putting yourself at risk. Even if you scored low on this test, there is still a chance you have a sleep disorder. Please call us at 814-946-2845 or send us an e-mail for more information on this test and your results. This test should not take the place of a diagnosis or consultation with a physician.

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