Harlingen Medical Center Sleep Lab
Do you get a good night's rest when you go to bed? Sleep problems are
often overlooked or ignored. Chronic sleep disorders and intermittent
sleep problems may involve too little sleep, too much sleep or inadequate
quality of sleep. These problems can significantly diminish health, alertness
and safety. If left untreated, sleep problems have been linked to high
blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes and other
If you or a loved one has trouble sleeping, snores and stops breathing
when sleeping experiences chronic tiredness, lack of concentration or
decreased productivity, Harlingen Medical Center's Sleep Lab is here
for you. HMC opened one of the first hospital-based sleep disorder clinics
in the Valley. Our experienced sleep specialists treat adults and children
(from ages five and older).
To determine whether you might benefit from a sleep evaluation, your primary
care physician may refer you to the Sleep Lab to have a sleep study (polysomnogram),
a non-invasive, pain-free procedure which usually requires spending a
night in the Harlingen Medical sleep facility. If obstructive sleep apnea
is diagnosed, a second-night therapeutic sleep study may be ordered to
determine if the patient’s sleep may be improved through continuous
positive pressure treatment.
Our Sleep Lab diagnoses and treats many common sleep disorders, including:
- Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome
- REM Sleep Disorders
- Snoring and Breathing Arousal Disorder
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorders
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA refers to a condition in which a person’s
breathing stops briefly, and then starts again, while they are asleep.
This happens in certain people because the muscle that helps keeps the
throat open tends to relax while a person is asleep. In most people, the
throat remains far enough open for air to continue to flow into the lungs
while they are sleeping. However, some people have a narrow throat –
and when their muscles relax, their airway can become blocked.
SYMPTOMS OF OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
Loud snoring can be a possible symptom of sleep apnea – although
NOT everyone who snores has sleep apnea. If someone snores on a regular
basis, and exhibits one or more of the following symptoms, they should
consider being evaluated for possible obstructive sleep apnea:
- Snoring, interrupted by pauses in breathing
- Night-time gasping or choking
- High blood pressure
- The person has a large neck size (more than 17” in men or 16”
- Heart disease
- Restless sleep
- Sleepiness during the day, or excessive fatigue
- Crowded airway
- Headache in the morning
- Sexual dysfunction
- Frequent urination at night
- Poor judgement or concentration
- Memory loss
TREATMENT FOR OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP is the most common treatment.
The patient wears a special mask over his or her nose, or over the nose
and mouth, while sleeping. A machine generates a gentle stream of air
which helps the patient breath better. The “positive-pressure airflow”
is delivered through a tube. This helps keep the airway open while sleeping.
Less common treatments include the following:
Ear, Nose & Throat Surgery
Wearing an “oral appliance therapy” device while sleeping.
Treatments should be combined with weight loss (if necessary), exercise,
and avoiding alcohol, sedatives, and hypnotic drugs (sleeping pills).
BENEFITS OF Continuous Positive Airway Pressure THERAPY
Benefits of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy can include the
following in certain patients:
- Regular breathing restored
- Stops snoring
- More restful sleep
- Improved quality of life
- Reduced risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and heart attack
- Reduced risk of being involved in a vehicle or work accident because of
CONTACT US TODAY!
Because of the possible serious complications of obstructive sleep apnea,
it is important to not delay getting diagnosed and treated for possible
sleep problems. Please seek the care of your physician, and contact us at:
Harlingen Medical Center Sleep Lab
Alma Summers, Sleep Lab Director
To schedule an appointment, please call:
Pre-Registration & Financial Counseling Available Monday-Friday, 7
a.m. – 6 p.m.
“Don’t delay; register today!”