POTSDAM – St. Lawrence County Administrator Karen St. Hilaire was suffering from migraines and fatigue until a screening at Canton-Potsdam Hospital’s sleep lab revealed she had sleep apnea, a …
POTSDAM – St. Lawrence County Administrator Karen St. Hilaire was suffering from migraines and fatigue until a screening at Canton-Potsdam Hospital’s sleep lab revealed she had sleep apnea, a condition where sleepers stop breathing and wake themselves up throughout the night.
"I had been disregarding what my own body was trying to tell me. It turns out my symptoms were nothing short of warnings about a more serious condition," said St. Hilaire.
After consulting with Dr. Magendra Thakur, Hilaire’s sleeping life and health were dramatically changed thanks to one small piece of equipment.
" Dr. Thakur prescribed a CPAP machine for me to use at home. I now feel better, sleep better, and have more energy throughout the day. In fact, I find myself up and ready to go at 5:30 a.m."
"I'll admit," St. Hilaire adds, "I was skeptical about the testing; however, looking back, it was one of the most important things I've ever done for myself. I believe this saved my life and certainly has improved my quality of life."
One in three Americans are affected by fatigue and sleep deprivation. The number increases ten-fold when you include loved ones disturbed through interrupted sleep.
The most common of the more than 80 sleep disorders include: sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy.
Many individuals accept interrupted sleep as a way of life and, in some cases, this is appropiate. However, many sleep disorders can be life threatening and should be discussed with a health professional.
Canton-Potsdam Hospital offers screenings and treatments at their Sleep Disorders Center.
Patients will undergo a study called a polysomnogram.
During their overnight sleep study numerous parameters are monitored including the patient's EKG, airflow, respiratory effort, snoring, leg movements, oxygen levels, eye movements, and brainwaves.
Sleep studies are performed in a comfortable environment similar to a home or motel setting.
Sleep studies are performed by Registered Nurses or Respiratory Therapists with special training in sleep disorders.
Following the sleep study, the polysomnogram is evaluated by a Registered Polysmonographic Technologist and reviewed by Dr. Thakur.
Based on the data of the sleep study, a diagnosis is reached and a treatment plan can be created and carried out by your physician or Dr. Thakur.
"The most common approach to treating sleep apnea is with the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine," said Dr. Thakur, "Patients using CPAP wear a mask worn over the nose or nose and mouth each night during sleep," he said. "The mask forces air into the throat to help maintain adequate breathing that is deep enough and regular enough to prevent the oxygen levels from dropping and allow the patient to sleep more soundly."
Individuals seeking more information about sleep lab services at Canton-Potsdam Hospital, can call 268-0642 or visit the website at cphospital.org for a complete list of available services.