Sleep disorders can interrupt normal sleep patterns and compromise your health. At the Sleep Therapy & Research Center in San Antonio, Texas, our sleep medicine physicians can diagnose and treat a wide range of sleep disorders. We also conduct clinical trials, which mean that our sleep doctors study the latest sleep disorder evaluation techniques and treatments.
If you think you have a sleep disorder, it is important to seek help from a sleep specialist. Call us at (210) 614-6000 or use our online request form to schedule an appointment at one of our three San Antonio locations.
Learn more about sleep disorders, evaluations and treatments below.
FOR PHYSICIAN (Primary Care / Specialists) & DENTAL SLEEP MEDICINE PRACTICES:
Sleep Therapy & Research Center has developed a HIPAA Compliant Sleep Health Information Portal (SHIP) in conjunction with the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics Information Data Exchange and Acquisition System (IDEAS). This tool allows physicians and dentists to communicate directly with our sleep specialists. The Sleep Health Information Portal (SHIP) helps these caregivers perform Home Sleep Testing directly from their offices with interpretation by STRC’s Sleep Specialists and aids them in follow-up for patients with Sleep Disordered Breathing. This innovative tool allows for a seemless communication between the Primary Care Provider / Dentist or other Physician Specialist. Uploading and downloading of Sleep Information specific to patients in their practices allows for better care and development of professional relationships. The development of Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems, including Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH), makes this service a necesssity for proper care and education between primary care Providers and Sleep Specialists. We anticipate STRC becoming a recognized Patient-Centered Specialty Practice in 2015.
Consultation with Sleep Medicine Providers
Sleep Apnea Solutions – Durable Medical Equipment (DME) – SASDME.com
Home Sleep Apnea Testing – An AASM Accredited HSAT (OCST) Facility
Oral Appliances / Mandibular Advancement Devices for Sleep Disordered Breathing – STRCDental.com
Insomnia Treatment – EBB Insomnia Therapy Equipment
Sleep Conditions & Disorders
Snoring may result from deformities or obstructions in the air passages in the nose, such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum. Nasal congestion from a cold or allergies can also lead to snoring.
In addition, snoring may be caused by a narrowing of the airway in the throat. Enlarged tonsils, adenoids and obesity can reduce the airway space in the throat.
Snoring once thought of as unharmful may lead to hypertension, cardiovascular disorder, poor sleep, daytime tiredness, embarrassment and strained relationships. Snoring may also be a symptom of sleep apnea, a much more serious and potentially life-threatening sleep disorder that affects over 12 million Americans.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (Pediatric & Adult)
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common and under-diagnosed sleep disorder. In fact, many people with sleep apnea do not realize they have it. It is many times missed in children and has significant impact and deleterious consequences in their behavioral and social development.
The majority of sleep apnea cases are caused by obstructions in the nose or throat that block a person’s breathing airway. During episodes of sleep apnea, you may stop breathing and gasp for air while sleeping. Each episode of sleep apnea, which may occur five to 30 times or more an hour during sleep, decreases oxygen levels in the bloodstream and strains the heart. In pediatric sleep apnea patients, even one time per hour is considered significant.
Patients with sleep apnea often get poor, restless sleep and feel tired during the day. Other signs of sleep apnea include headache upon awakening, weight gain, depression, irritability, leg swelling, sexual dysfunction and difficulty thinking or remembering. More serious side effects of sleep apnea include increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and chronic fatigue. In children, they may have other symptoms, such as eneuresis (bed-wetting), irritability, and may present as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The consequences of untreated sleep apnea can be severe or life threatening, therefore early diagnosis and treatment is essential. Sleep apnea may be treated or managed with lifestyle changes, use of a breathing assist device at night or surgery.
Insomnia is the inability to achieve a restful and sustained night’s sleep. You may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early in the morning. A lack of sleep may make you feel tired and moody during the day and cause problems with your ability to think. Insomnia may be short or long-term. Chronic insomnia may be caused by another condition, including anxiety, depression, hormonal changes, alcoholism, substance abuse, thyroid conditions, medications and other sleep disorders. Insomnia treatments usually include lifestyle changes, medications, therapy or a combination of treatments.
Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder that consists of sudden unexpected episodes of daytime sleepiness. The episodes typically last about 15 minutes, and a person may have several episodes at any time or place during the day. Uncontrolled narcolepsy is dangerous because the episodes of sleepiness may come on quickly, increasing the risk of accidents and injury. Fortunately, the symptoms of narcolepsy may be managed with lifestyle changes and prescription medication.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition and sleep disorder that causes odd sensations in the legs, such as tingling, and an urge to move the legs. The symptoms become worse while resting or lying down to fall asleep.
Researchers have recently discovered a gene that causes RLS in some people. Restless leg syndrome may be an inherited condition in some families. The new research also shows a connection between RLS and low iron levels in the blood.
Restless leg syndrome is not a life-threatening condition, but it is uncomfortable and interferes with the natural sleep process. The symptoms of RLS may be relieved with lifestyle changes and prescription medication.
Circadian Rhythm/Shift Work Sleep Disorder
Circadian rhythm/shift work sleep disorder is a condition in which a person’s sleep/wake schedule is out of synch with the body’s biological “clock,” or 24-hour circadian rhythms. It is common for circadian rhythm sleep disorder to occur in those who work rotating or night shifts or who are suffering from jet lag. This mismatch may make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep at night (insomnia) and stay awake during the day (narcolepsy). Circadian rhythm sleep disorder can cause fatigue, irritability and indigestion.
Obesity and Weight Management
Weight loss is something with which millions of people struggle. As you know, your weight doesn’t just contribute to your physical appearance. Your weight and the amount of fat in your body can help or hurt your body by contributing to either a healthy physique or lead to medical issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Weight loss is not just about restricting calories, which is what most people try to do. Weight loss is really about correcting your nutrition, managing your stress, and for some, working with or around chronic diseases and medical conditions.