At Ohio Chest Physicians, we specialize in treating breathing-related sleep disorders - that is, a range of conditions where breathing anomalies interfere with a patient's quality of sleep. Experts agree that they pose a serious risk to our health. When we lose out on sleep, we feel fatigued in the short term. Then, in the long term, we become more prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
That's where we come in. Ohio Chest Physicians' team can evaluate your breathing and sleep patterns, and - based on your medical history - determine a likely cause and the best course of action when it comes to treatment. Using the latest in sleep and pulmonary care technology and procedures, our staff will help you breathe better and rest easier.
Please feel free to contact us or request an appointment online. We are always happy to help!
Sleep-related breathing disorders can vary in their exact cause. However, each disorder is characterized by abnormal respiration during sleep. This deviation from normal, healthy breathing can be caused by abnormal muscle reflexes and/or physical obstructions. Common types of sleep-related breathing disorders include obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea, sleep-related hypoventilation, and sleep-related hypoxemia disorder.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you sleep. This can happen hundreds of times throughout the night, depriving the body of oxygen. Additionally, when the body automatically forces you to breathe, you're likely to wake up gasping for breath - but you're unlikely to remember doing so.
This back-and-forth of falling asleep and waking up leaves patients feeling exhausted and lethargic in the morning. Additionally, if left untreated, over time sleep apnea can increase the risk of health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, and depression.
One of the hardest parts about identifying this health issue is that its symptoms present themselves while we're trying to sleep. That means we often have no memory of the symptoms bothering and affecting us.
For most people, the most noticeable sign of trouble is feeling excessively tired during daylight hours on a regular basis. This goes beyond wanting a nap, however - this level of exhaustion may cause you to fall asleep while you're working, watching television or even driving a vehicle.
If you sleep near another person, they're more likely to notice alarming symptoms than you are. Pay attention if a partner or family members complain about your loud snoring; reports episodes of breathing cessation while your sleep; and/or tell you that you wake up frequently throughout the night.
It can be difficult to decide when to see a doctor (versus when to brush off your symptoms as a brief period of poor sleep). We recommend that you seek out a medical opinion if you experience - or if your partner observes - any one of or combination of the following:
Snoring is a very common condition and a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in particular. Granted, not everybody who snores has OSA, and not everybody who has OSA snores. However, snoring does indicate some issue or resistance in the throat during the breathing process. So it can sometimes be the only sign that a patient's breathing is being affected by a sleep-related breathing disorder.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the leading therapy for sleep disorders caused by breathing problems. When using a CPAP machine, patients wear a mask overnight that's connected via a pump and machine. The machine provides a positive flow of air into the nasal passages and helps to keep our airways open. While using a CPAP can seem intimidating or impossible, many people adjust to the machines within a couple of weeks or months.
The best way to determine if you are suffering from sleep-related breathing problems is to speak with medical experts who are certified to conduct a fully monitored sleep study. An in-lab sleep study provides the most complete evaluation of your sleep.
Home sleep testing is also available, although these studies require you to set up any testing equipment for overnight use. Home sleep testing may be recommended for patients with no significant medical conditions other than the suspected sleep-related breathing problem. It should not be used to diagnosis more complicated cases or offered to patients with serious chronic conditions
At Ohio Chest Physicians, LTD., our doctors are board-certified specialists in pulmonary, critical care, sleep, and internal medicine. Our primary focus is on treating patients with lung conditions such as COPD, asthma and respiratory-related sleep disorders. Our medical team is more than capable of effectively preventing, diagnosing and treating a wide range of diseases and other conditions. What's more, most of the physicians in our group have 20 to 25 years of experience. So, when you are ready to receive quality care, pick up the phone and call us!