The Sleep Disorder Center, located at MHHS, offers diagnostic testing of sleep-wake disorders on an outpatient basis. Physiological responses are recorded while the patient sleeps so that the sleep-wake disorder and related medical problems can be correctly diagnosed. The data is then interpreted by a physician who is a specialist in sleep medicine, and forwarded to the patient’s referring physician with treatment recommendation.
Sleep disorders can become a disruptive force in your life, affecting your daily routines, plans, and most importantly, your overall health. In addition to daytime sleepiness and fatigue, certain disorders may cause high blood pressure, stroke and serious heart problems. Some sleep disorders can even be life threatening. Sufferers often experience increased susceptibility to illness, more accidents, reduced job performance, and strained relationships. Common symptoms of sleep disorders include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Falling asleep while at work, on the phone, or while driving
- Learning and memory difficulties
- Morning headaches
- Sexual dysfunction
The MHHS Sleep Disorder Center physician and sleep specialists will determine the appropriate treatment plan based on your test results about your specific sleep disorder.
Some mild sleep disorders can be treated with behavioral changes such as losing weight; developing better sleep habits; and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and sleep medications.
Other mild sleep disorders may only require a dental device that will keep the airway open by holding the tongue or jaw forward, increasing the airway space behind the tongue.
Mild to severe sleep apnea usually is treated with a nasal mask called CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). This treatment requires a patient to wear the CPAP mask over the nose during sleep, forcing positive air pressure through the airway and/or nasal passages.
Mild to severe sleep apnea also may require surgery. Typically a patient is directed to use the CPAP for at least a month before surgery is suggested. The most common surgical procedures to treat sleep apnea include removal of adenoids and tonsils, nasal polyps or other growths. Removal of tissue in the airway and correction of structural deformities also may be necessary.