Sleep medicine is one of the most important services offered at Wooster Community Hospital. Our Sleep Disorders Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and is staffed by three highly trained sleep physicians.
Let’s explore the medical conditions that sleep medicine can treat.
Did you know that daytime sleepiness impacts about 25 percent of the adult population in the United States? Sadly, school and work performance, interpersonal relationships, and overall health and well-being can all suffer.
In fact, people with sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, often have comorbidities, and many of these related health problems directly stem from consistently poor quality sleep due to a diagnosable sleep disorder.
Sleep problems the team at WCH’s Sleep Disorders Center frequently see are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Restless leg syndrome
Let’s look at each of these issues and how they’re treated.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft oral tissues at the back of the throat relax and cover the airway while a person sleeps. Characterized by extremely loud and frequent snoring, along with waking up and gasping for air, OSA disrupts sleep and can lead to hypertension, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, and more.
Oral appliance therapy and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines keep airways open while an individual sleeps. Other interventions include losing weight and avoiding heavy meals and alcohol before bedtime.
This sleep disorder is characterized by abrupt and unexpected periods of daytime sleeping. Temporary paralysis, hallucinations, and poor muscle tone are other common symptoms. Because these sleep episodes are unpredictable and could happen when driving or operating heavy machinery, narcolepsy is extremely dangerous and requires medical diagnosis and treatment.
To treat this sleep disorder, your sleep medicine expert in Wooster, OH, may advise some lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol and heavy meals. Prescription medications and sleep apnea interventions also help many people avoid episodes of narcolepsy.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
A sleep disorder commonly affecting middle-aged to senior adults, RLS causes odd sensations and the urge to frequently move the lower extremities. These occur while sitting or trying to sleep at night, making it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
The cause of RLS is somewhat mysterious. However, some researchers believe there is a genetic component or a link to diabetes, anemia, and the use of antihistamines.
Sleep physicians often recommend complete abstinence from caffeine and alcohol. Exercise, stretching, and some vitamins prove helpful, as well. As with other sleep disorders, your care plan will be tailored to your symptoms. While RLS cannot be resolved entirely, it can be managed successfully.
The inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep are primary characteristics of the sleep problem called insomnia. It may occur sporadically due to stress or acute illness, or insomnia may become chronic due to anxiety, alcohol abuse, certain medications, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Treatment may include prescription or over-the-counter sleep medications. However, most commonly, people manage insomnia with better sleep hygiene habits. These include sleeping in a darkened bedroom, not eating or drinking three hours before bedtime, and avoiding screen time before bed.
Sleep Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment in Wooster, OH
At Wooster Community Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center, our professional staff uses patient examinations and medical histories, sleep journals, and sophisticated sleep studies performed at WCH to pinpoint the underlying causes of sleep conditions. We even offer convenient telehealth visits for our initial consultations and follow-ups.
Call us today to learn more: (330) 263-8400. We are located on the fourth floor of the central building on the WCH campus in Wooster, OH.