What do pulmonary disorders and sleep disorders have in common? Quite a lot! In fact, some sleep disorders are directly connected to a breathing issue that worsens in our sleep. At Ohio Chest Physicians, we specialize in treating common and rare disorders alike and strive to help patients regain their health by breathing better and resting easier.
Two of the most common disorders we treat in our practice are Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Due to their impact on patient health, understanding these conditions and how to recognize them is critical for everyone. Contact our staff if you feel you may be suffering from one of these conditions.
Please feel free to contact us or request an appointment online. We are always happy to help!
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow within the lungs. This illness is caused by long-term exposure to various airborne irritants, particularly cigarette smoke. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis can also contribute to the development of and/or severity of COPD.
Symptoms of this illness (which don't usually develop until the lungs are already damaged) include chest tightening, breathing difficulties (both in general and during exercise), chronic coughing, long-term mucus (sputum) overproduction, wheezing, and fatigue.
Sleep problems, unfortunately, go hand-in-hand with COPD. Since the condition affects airflow in and out of the lungs, changes in breathing patterns can complicate COPD as well as reduce oxygen levels in the body. The disorder's symptoms (coughing, chest pain, and even bed wetting) can also affect a patient's ability to sleep. The result is that COPD patients are more likely to experience exhaustion and health problems related to poor sleep and fitful nights in bed.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) refers to a condition that causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep. In cases of OSA, the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway during sleep. Many people with OSA wake up gasping for breath throughout the night when the body scrambles to take in oxygen. However, patients rarely remember doing so. Snoring and exhaustion are the most common signs of OSA. In most cases, a partner complaining of snoring is what brings a patient to a doctor, where they are diagnosed with OSA. It’s worth noting that OSA occurs in about 10 to 15% of patients with COPD, a condition referred to as the overlap syndrome. In these cases, treating both health issues is critical to good patient health and care.
At Ohio Chest Physicians, LTD., our doctors are board-certified specialists in pulmonary, critical care, sleep, and internal medicine. In addition to offering care via our multiple Ohio offices, we work directly with the West Region Sleep Center to conduct patient sleep testing that diagnosis various sleep disorders.
If you are concerned about COPD and its impact on your sleep, our team can help. We will first review the medications you take, as some commonly used ones can cause sleeping issues. We can also prescribe sleep tests and/or oxygen therapies to evaluate and treat your condition. Finally, we can work with you to make adjustments in your routine and household that will help you sleep better (in combination with proper treatment).
For OSA (whether related to COPD or not), our team can conduct a thorough sleep study to confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Following confirmation, our team can recommend personal lifestyle changes and/or prescribe the use of continuous positive airway pressure (commonly known as a CPAP machine).