Everyone, at one time or another, has experienced trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or has been sleepy during the day. People with a sleep disorder experience these and more serious problems. Sleep disorders disrupt and disturb the overall quality of life. More than 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder, and many of the sufferers are completely unaware of it. Many of those who are aware of the problem never choose to seek help.
Many of the sleep disorders can lead to serious problems if left untreated. For example, obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that affects over 20 million Americans, can lead to serious cardiovascular and neurological problems. However, when treated, apnea patients reduce the risk of those serious conditions and dramatically improve the quality of their lives.
The Sleep Institute is a treatment facility designed to evaluate and treat those sleep disorders that include snoring, sleep apnea, chronic tiredness, and difficulty falling asleep. We use the most up-to-date techniques to evaluate your sleep problems in our comfortable sleep centers located on our Johns Creek campus.
Primary Sleep Disorders
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Sleep Terrors
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Jet Lag
- Periodic Limb Movement
- Shift Work
- Inadequate Sleep Hygiene (Bad Sleep Habits)
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The most common sleep related breathing disorders are obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and loud snoring. They are both due to the narrowing of the airway during sleep. Snoring occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat vibrates as you breathe. Patients who snore are more likely to have OSA than people who do not snore. Those who snore have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.
Sleep apnea can occur in males and females of all ages, weights, and ethnicities. Yet certain risk factors are associated with a higher incidence of sleep apnea such as:
- Excess weight or obesity (body mass index, or BMI, >25)
- Family history of sleep apnea
- Male sex
- Large neck (greater than 17" in men, greater than 16" in women)
- Recessed chin
- Physical abnormality in the nose, throat, or upper airway structure
- Use of alcohol or sleeping pill
Often a loved one is the first to notice the sleep apnea sufferer's symptoms and suspect something may be wrong. One of our doctors can find out if you only have simple snoring, or if your snoring is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. To evaluate this, you will need to take an overnight sleep study, called a polysomnogram. Typically, this test is conducted in a sleep center and measures the individual's heart rate, respiration, brain activity, eye movement, and blood oxygen level. You will be diagnosed with OSA if two things occur:
- You stop breathing due to a blockage of the airway for more than 10 seconds while asleep.
- This happens more than five times per hour of sleep.
If you have OSA, the sleep study will show if it is mild, moderate, or severe. A person with OSA is often very sleepy during the day because you wake up at the end of the times when you stop breathing. These brief awakenings keep you from enjoying long periods of deep sleep. OSA may lead to sleepiness, heart attack, stroke, and automobile accidents.
"Dr. Joseph, thank you for being so attentive to our little girl. She told all her friends that a Princess took out her tonsils, (she says you look like Princess Jasmine). From day one- We felt safe with you as her surgeon. As a parent, it was such a relief to know she was being cared for and felt a sense of security in your care."
- Georgette, Newnan, GA
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