Sleep Disorders and Treatment
At Colden & Seymour Ear, Nose, Throat & Allery we offer the latest in diagnostic tools that help us assess and determine the best treatment approach for you. Until recently, sleep studies were primarily conducted during an overnight stay in a sleep lab. Home sleep testing is particularly useful in individuals who are suspected to have obstructive sleep apnea based on the medical history and physical examination findings [snoring, witnesses breathing interruptions during sleep, daytime sleepiness, obesity, thick neck, narrow throat opening, diabetes, hypertension etc.]
Insomnia is characterized by an inability to initiate or maintain sleep. It may also take the form of early morning awakening in which the individual awakens several hours early and is unable to resume sleeping. Difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep may often manifest itself as excessive daytime sleepiness, which characteristically results in functional impairment throughout the day.
Excessive daytime sleepiness (including episodes of irresistible sleepiness) combined with sudden muscle weakness are the hallmark signs of narcolepsy. The sudden muscle weakness seen in narcolepsy may be elicited by strong emotion or surprise.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
RLS is characterized by an unpleasant “creeping” sensation, often feeling like it is originating in the lower legs, but often associated with aches and pains throughout the legs. This often causes difficulty initiating sleep and is relieved by movement of the leg, such as walking or kicking. Abnormalities in the neurotransmitter dopamine have often been associated with RLS.
Snoring may be more than just an annoying habit – it may be a sign of sleep apnea. Persons with sleep apnea characteristically make periodic gasping or “snorting” noises, during which their sleep is momentarily interrupted. Those with sleep apnea may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness, as their sleep is commonly interrupted and may not feel restorative.
If you and your doctor have determined that you need a sleep study to diagnose or rule out a suspected sleep disorder, we will set up your sleep study or we may refer you to one of the area sleep centers for testing.