The Capital Health Center for Sleep Medicine specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of problems related to sleep disordered breathing. These problems include snoring, sleep apnea, and daytime sleepiness. The staff includes pulmonary and board-certified sleep physicians who are experienced and trained in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with these disorders. Consultants in neurology, otolaryngology (ear, nose, throat), cardiology, urology, and psychiatry are available.
Symptoms of sleep disordered breathing
Snoring, daytime sleepiness, gasping or choking spells at night, and witnessed apnea episodes (cessation of breathing) are most common. Occasionally patients with sleep apnea may have difficulty staying asleep (insomnia), frequent nighttime urination, or impotence.
Loud snoring is sometimes considered to be trivial, but it may be a symptom of a serious breathing disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the individual repeatedly stops breathing during sleep. It is often accompanied by loud snoring and gasping. High blood pressure, heart rhythm irregularities, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness may occur as complications of untreated apnea. Snoring in children may be due to structural abnormalities in the throat.
Daytime sleepiness is the inability to remain alert throughout the day. This may result in a variety of consequences including falling asleep at inappropriate times, reduced concentration, impaired job performance, automobile accidents, etc. Excessive sleepiness is frequently caused by sleep apnea.
Diagnosing Sleep Disordered Breathing
It is important to determine if snoring is just disruptive and annoying or a symptom of a more serious problem like sleep apnea. In order to determine this you will be asked to complete a questionnaire designed to tell us about your sleep problem. This information is essential for making an accurate diagnosis and an effective plan of treatment. You will be evaluated by a physician member of the sleep disorders team. You may be asked to keep a log of your sleep time for 1-2 weeks and an overnight sleep study may be required.
Types of tests
- Nighttime testing - The evaluation process may include one or more all night sleep studies known as polysomnograms (PSG). A PSG recording is a safe and painless technique to monitor sleep patterns, breathing, oxygen level, heart activity, and body movements. In most cases, the patient is free to leave in the morning, making it unnecessary to miss a day of work.
- Daytime testing - In some cases, a daytime nap test, known as a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT), may be required on the day following the nighttime sleep study. This test serves to assess daytime sleepiness and involves sleep recording during several nap opportunities through the day.
Most sleep disordered breathing can be effectively treated once it has been properly diagnosed. Treatment emphasis varies, depending on the nature and severity of the disorder. At the Center, you will be evaluated by a board-certified sleep specialist.
When sleep apnea is present, treatments may include weight loss, use of a breathing apparatus, or minor surgery when indicated. Other conditions may require medication, counseling, behavior modification, or further evaluation. After all diagnostic testing is completed, a written report of our findings will be sent to your physician with your permission.
The fees will vary depending on the type and number of diagnostic tests required. Polysomnography is a procedure which is recognized by major insurance carriers. Because coverage varies among policies, we advise you to contact your insurance company to determine the extent of coverage. A list of fees can be sent to you at your request.
To schedule an evaluation, contact the Center directly or your physician may refer you. For more information please call or click here to contact us via email:
Capital Health’s Center for Sleep Medicine
Capital Health in Hamilton
1401 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road
Trenton, NJ 08638