Posts for: November, 2018
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep apnea is a fairly common sleep disorder that affects millions of adults and children in the United States. Because the condition often goes diagnosed, many people are unaware that they are having problems with their breathing while they sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex (a combination of obstructive and central). If left untreated, sleep apnea can disrupt quality of life and increase the risk of potentially serious health problems. The sleep medicine doctors at Pacific Sleep Program in Astoria and Portland, OR, offer testing and treatment plans a number of sleep disorders.
Sleep Medicine Programs in Astoria and Portland, OR
Sleep apnea causes momentary pauses in breathing throughout the night while a person sleeps. Many people with sleep apnea are unaware that their breathing is being interrupted until someone witnesses it. The main symptoms are loud and chronic snoring, but the lack of oxygen caused by irregular breathing causes a number of additional symptoms and potential health problems such as:
- Daytime exhaustion and fatigue, even after a "full" night's sleep
- Difficulty concentrating and focusing
- Memory problems
- Dry mouth
Possible complications include:
- Cognitive problems/decreased motor skills
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Complications during pregnancy
Anyone can develop sleep apnea, but there are a few factors that can potentially increase the risk such as obesity, large tonsils, endocrine issues, neuromuscular problems, and lifestyle issues like smoking or alcohol consumption.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type and occurs when the muscles in the throat relax during sleep and block the airway. Central sleep apnea is much less common and results when the brain's signals to the muscles that control breathing malfunction. There are a number of different treatment options including lifestyle modifications and breathing devices that help keep the airway open during sleep.
Find a Sleep Medicine Doctor in Astoria and Portland, OR
For more information about the symptoms and treatment options for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, contact the Pacific Sleep Program to schedule an appointment with one of our sleep medicine doctors and specialists by calling 503-325-4933 in Astoria or 503-228-4414 in Portland.
Find out why your feet feel so restless at night and what you can do about it.
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes sensations within the legs that make you feel the urge to move. These symptoms most often appear in the afternoon and evening hours when you are sitting down or lying in bed. Unfortunately, a lot of people with RLS find that they can’t get the proper sleep that they need because these unpleasant sensations in their legs are keeping them up or causing them to toss and turn. If this sounds like you, our Portland and Astoria, OR, sleep medicine specialists Dr. Gerald Rich, Dr. Radhika Breaden and Dr. Gregory Clark are here to help.
What are the symptoms of restless leg syndrome?
As we mentioned above, there are sensations within the legs that make it difficult to sit still. These sensations can range from a creeping, crawling feeling to a feeling of “pins and needles”. Lying down will usually exacerbate these symptoms and it may cause sleep disturbances throughout the night.
What causes restless leg syndrome?
While restless leg syndrome can affect anyone, it’s more common in women than men. While there is still a lot that we do not know about this condition it is believed that genetics plays a role in who develops restless leg syndrome. After all, the majority of those with RLS have a family member who also has this same condition.
Of course, there are certain factors that can make RLS symptoms worse such as:
- Chronic health problems (e.g. diabetes; peripheral neuropathy)
- Certain medications (e.g. antidepressants; anti-nausea medication)
Alcohol and lack of sleep are other factors that can also aggravate your RLS symptoms.
What are my treatment options if I have restless leg syndrome?
Since there isn’t a treatment available to get rid of restless leg syndrome, our goal as your Portland, OR, sleep doctor is to determine the best ways to reduce the severity and frequency of your symptoms. This can often be managed through:
Medication: Anti-seizure medications are becoming the most common medication prescribed to those with RLS and it can be effective for handling moderate-to-severe cases.
Lifestyle changes: You may find some relief from your symptoms once you avoid or limit the use of nicotine, caffeine or alcohol. It’s also important to get regular exercise to boost blood flow to the legs. You may also massage your legs everyday or take a warm bath to ease symptoms.
Here at Pacific Sleep Program in Portland and Astoria, OR, we are dedicated to making sure that you get the quality sleep you deserve. No matter whether you have been diagnosed with restless leg syndrome or you think you might have this condition, it’s the perfect time to turn to our sleep doctors for the answers you’re looking for.