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What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea means that you often stop breathing for a period of time during sleep. The problem can be mild to severe, based on the number of times each hour that you stop breathing.

What causes obstructive sleep apnea?

Blocked or narrowed airways in your nose, mouth or throat can be a cause. It can also occur if your have large tonsils, adenoids or uvula. During the day when you are awake or standing up, these may not cause a problem. When you lie down at night, they can press down on your airway, narrowing it and causing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is more likely to occur if you are overweight, use certain medicines or alcohol before bed or sleep on your back.

What are the symptoms?

  • Being so sleepy during the day that you fall asleep while working or doze off when driving.
  • Feeling tired in the morning
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Your bed partner may notice that you stop breathing, snore loudly, gasp or choke during sleep or you toss and turn.

My Doctor ordered a sleep study. What will happen?

You will be scheduled to come in approximately 2 hours before the test. This will allow the technologist time to ask you questions, attach electrodes and monitoring equipment. Sensors will be placed on your face, finger, legs, abdomen, chest and head. This does not hurt.

What should I bring in with me?

Wear comfortable, loose fitting 2 piece pajamas, t-shirt/sweat pants. Each bedroom is equipped with a TV with cable. We have portable DVD players. We do not provide medications or administer any medication. We have private bathrooms with showers. Please feel free to bring snacks with you if that is your routine after dinner. We will provide continental breakfast in the morning if desired. If you are required to stay the following day for a nap study, we will provide lunch.

What if I can't sleep during the sleep study?

We will almost certainly get enough information even during a shorter than normal period of sleep to diagnose most sleep problems. Our rooms are quiet and will most likely sleep very well!!!

Will I have to stay for a nap study the following morning?

Nap testing (multiple sleep latency testing) may be ordered if our sleep specialist physicians suspect that you may have narcolepsy (sudden, uncontrollable attacks of sleep). Most individuals who visit us do not undergo this test.

What insurances are accepted?

We accept most major insurances. If the reading physician does not accept your insurance we will gladly assist you in finding physicians who do.

What if I have sleep apnea? How is it treated?

You will return for a C-PAP test (continuous positive airway pressure). Our technologist will try different masks and pressures to find the right setting and comfort for you. This is an overnight test. You may be able to treat mild sleep apnea by making changes in how you live and the way you sleep. For example:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Sleep on your side - and not back
  • Avoid alcohol and medicines before going to bed.

If you have moderate to severe sleep apnea, you will be able to use a machine that helps you breathe while you sleep. This is C-PAP. The home care company will work with you closely to make sure you are comfortable using this while sleeping.

What if I don't use the C-PAP?

You will not treat the problem with sleep apnea. Your physician needs to know you are compliant from a diagnostic standpoint to help you improve your health. Some insurance companies will not pay for the use of C-PAP devices if you can not prove that you actually use it.