Pioneers Medical Center is proud to announce the grand opening of our sleep center. Our facility features state-of-the-art sleep testing technology as well as comfortable rooms with the same amenities that you would find at home. The PMC sleep center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and we diagnose and treat a wide range of sleep disorders, including:
Our medical director, Dr. Peter Edmund Razma, is board certified in sleep medicine with over 20 years of experience reading and interpreting sleep studies. Our team also includes registered sleep technologists that will bring top-rated sleep study services to the White River Valley community. We treat individuals age 13 and older. The sleep center doesn’t offer pediatric treatment for children with sleep disorders.
Sleep apnea, insomnia, snoring and many other sleep disorders often go undiagnosed, which can lead to serious health issues. According to the National Sleep Apnea Foundation, there are approximately 18 million American adults with sleep apnea. It’s crucial that you receive the necessary treatments to avoid developing dangerous conditions that can threaten your long-term health and quality of life.
Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when your airway becomes blocked while you’re sleeping, resulting in brief, repeated interruptions in breathing. In order to resume proper breathing, your brain must rouse you from sleep. This cycle often occurs hundreds of times a night, disrupting your sleep patterns.
During sleep apnea, the muscles and soft tissue in your throat relax while you sleep. This is what causes your airway blockage. When left untreated, sleep apnea increases your risk of serious health conditions such as:
Sleep apnea is most commonly treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a device that uses a mask to deliver a stream of forced air into your throat while you sleep to keep your airway open.
Often, your bed partner will be the first one to suspect you have sleep apnea since loud chronic snoring is the most common symptom. When your airway becomes partially blocked from sleep apnea, air passes through this narrowed passageway more quickly. This increased air speed creates a vibration in your soft tissue, resulting in the noise we hear as snoring.
Another extremely common sleep apnea symptom is excessive daytime fatigue. This should come as no surprise, since sleep apnea disrupts your sleep patterns. While we all feel tired on occasion, if you find yourself fatigued or sleeping during the day on a regular basis, it’s a sign you should get tested for sleep apnea.
Other common sleep apnea symptoms include:
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that results in difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. There are two types of insomnia:
While insomnia can develop on its own, it often occurs due to another health condition you experience, such as asthma, arthritis, depression, cancer or heartburn. Certain medications and substance abuse can also cause you to develop insomnia.
Common symptoms of insomnia include:
Parasomnia is a sleep disorder that results in abnormal behavior while you sleep. These behaviors can happen at any stage of the sleep cycle – just before you fall asleep, while you’re sleeping or as you wake up. Often, others may think you’re awake when you exhibit these behaviors, but they occur in an unconscious state and you usually won’t remember them when you wake up.
Common examples of parasomnia include:
These parasomnias are common for children age 13-18, but when they persist into adulthood the sleep center will perform diagnostic exams and recommend appropriate treatments to alleviate the condition.
Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a neurological disorder that causes a powerful urge to move your legs. It’s also considered a sleep disorder because it’s typically most intense while you’re at rest or trying to sleep. RLS occurs more often in women and symptoms are typically most severe in middle aged people.
The most common symptom of restless leg syndrome is the powerful urge to move your legs, especially when you’re at rest. The condition can also result in a variety of uncomfortable sensations in your legs, including:
While these symptoms usually occur on both sides of the body, it’s possible that you’ll only experience them on one side. These symptoms can also range in severity from mild to truly unbearable, and the intensity may vary from episode to episode. They’re generally worst at night, resulting in disrupted sleep that can impact your quality of life.
At the sleep center, we diagnose and treat restless leg syndrome. RLS is most commonly treated with a muscle relaxer, but it often needs to be cross treated with sleep apnea since these conditions often occur together. Since muscle relaxers can make sleep apnea worse, it’s crucial to achieve the right balance between the muscle relaxers and CPAP pressure.
The PMC sleep center offers a variety of services to diagnose and treat your sleep disorder.
This is the first step of our process. All patients will see one of our physicians for a consultation to determine whether they need a sleep study. During this visit, we’ll review your symptoms. In particular, we’ll ask whether you experience the most common warning signs of sleep apnea such as regular snoring and daytime fatigue.
If prominent sleep apnea symptoms exist, you’ll be referred to the sleep lab for diagnostic testing. If these symptoms aren’t present, we’ll typically recommend a home sleep test.
The tests performed will vary on a case-by-case basis. Some of the most common evaluations administered by our sleep lab include:
In situations where your symptoms appear to be relatively mild, home sleep apnea testing may be administered as a first step. During this test, one belt goes around your chest, a small hollow tube called a cannula goes in your nose, and a finger probe is attached to your hand. The purpose of the HSAT is to determine whether there are enough interruptions in your breathing to diagnose sleep apnea. This is a much less comprehensive test than the full sleep diagnostic evaluation performed in the lab.
After you receive your CPAP machine, the sleep center will perform all necessary follow up visits to make sure it’s working properly. We’ll provide education on how to use the device, make sure it fits you properly, and adjust the pressure as needed. We’ll schedule as many follow up visits as necessary to make sure you’re properly acclimated to CPAP therapy.
During these follow up visits, you’ll receive a consultation with our certified clinical sleep educator to ensure you have all the information necessary to use the CPAP device properly.
Are sleep studies covered by medical insurance?
Most insurance companies will cover your sleep study. However, some insurance plans have different rules regarding coverage, such as the need for authorization prior to the sleep test and/or the types of sleep tests covered. Our facility will contact your insurance company to verify your benefits and coverage prior to providing our services.
I know I snore. Is it dangerous?
Snoring could be benign, or it can be a sign that you have sleep apnea. When left untreated, snoring that is related to sleep apnea can increase your risk of the serious health issues discussed above. Also, snoring usually becomes more serious as you age, and it affects the quality of your bed partner’s sleep in addition to your sleep. Therefore, it’s important to discuss snoring remedies with our sleep physician.
When will I get my sleep study results?
Your in-lab sleep study results will be technically analyzed and a report will be generated for our board-certified sleep physician to interpret. The whole process from the day of the study to the report being ready can take 7-10 days. The sleep center will contact you to schedule an office visit with your doctor to go over the results.
I’m on CPAP already, but I’m still tired and having trouble with my therapy. Should I be concerned?
In some patients, it can take a little time to be fully acclimated to the therapy. Others may need pressure adjustments with continuous supervision. In addition, there are many different masks available today that can fit much better and improve your comfort. In some instances, you may potentially have other sleep disorders that need to be addressed in conjunction with sleep apnea. Talking to our sleep physician is crucial to determine the appropriate next steps for your specific situation.
If you or anyone you know may be suffering from a sleep disorder, we can help. Contact us to schedule a sleep consultation with one of our physicians.Contact Us