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Sleep Medicine at Allegheny Valley Hospital
Sleep. For most people, it is a simple process that comes naturally, night after night. But for people suffering from sleep disorders, sleeping is anything but simple.
Sleep labs primarily diagnose and treat sleep apnea. Sleeping pattern problems are usually characterized by daytime sleepiness, snoring and interruptions in breathing patterns, such as stoppage. Individuals afflicted by sleep disorders may benefit from the Sleep Laboratory at Allegheny Valley Hospital. In the Sleep Lab, specially trained professionals diagnose and treat sleep-related disorders using some of the most cutting-edge equipment available in health care today.
A variety of disorders can interfere with sleep. The following are some of the most common, which are diagnosed and treated at the Sleep Lab.
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes people to stop breathing temporarily during sleep, sometimes for as long as 90 seconds at a time. The condition results when the muscles in the back of the throat relax during sleep and block the flow of air in and out of the lungs. One of the most common forms of treatment for this condition involves the patient wearing a small mask for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). The CPAP unit puts pressure on the airways to keep them open.
• Frequent awakenings during the night with spells of choking, coughing and gasping for air
• Excessive daytime sleepiness
• Pronounced restlessness during sleep
• Morning headaches and dry mouth
Narcolepsy is a lifelong disorder that often emerges in young adults and is characterized by an overwhelming desire to sleep. This includes falling asleep at unusual times (while driving, at the dinner table or at work). Emotions such as anger, surprise or amusement may trigger muscle weakness in those who suffer from narcolepsy.
To evaluate and diagnose sleep disorders, a professional at the Sleep Laboratory will conduct a painless test called a polysomnogram, also known as a sleep study. The polysomnogram involves an overnight stay in a comfortable sleeping environment at Allegheny Valley Hospital or at the Vandergrift Outpatient Care Center.
Sleep disorders are recognized medical conditions covered by many insurance carriers. If you need more information concerning a sleep disorder, please call the Sleep Lab at 724.226.7340 or consult with your physician.
Allegheny Valley Hospital
1301 Carlisle Street
Natrona Heights, PA 15065
24 Longfellow Street
Vandergrift, PA 15690