Delray Medical Center announced earlier this month that its Suite Dreams Sleep Disorders Program now offers in-home sleep testing for those who might have obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea, a common and chronic condition, is characterized by difficulty breathing during sleep. As they sleep, people with the condition pause while breathing or take shallow breaths. Amazingly, breathing pauses can last a few seconds to minutes and can occur 30 times or more each hour, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute website. Snoring is a major indicator of sleep apnea, but being a snorer doesn’t necessarily mean you have the condition.

More than 18 million Americans have the condition, according to the National Sleep Foundation. You can take determine whether you have it through clinical exams or sleep studies, where clinicians study sleep quality and how the body responds to sleep problems. Thanks to the Delray Medical Center, at-home sleep studies are now available to local residents.

As with in-lab testing, home studies allow doctors to get the information they need to diagnose people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. This works through a portable device – worn by patients when they sleep – which measures breathing patterns, blood oxygen levels, heart rate and more.

Although this new service is available, the Suite Dreams Sleep Disorders Center will continue to offer sleep studies in the center’s sleep laboratory, which is equipped with advanced technology and comfortable, private rooms to evaluate patients throughout the night.

Sleep problems are a public health epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s important to diagnose and address sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea. Insufficient sleep due to sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, has been linked to car crashes, industrial disasters and errors (including as medical errors). Health problems associated with sleep disorders are a huge concern. People who don’t sleep well or enough are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, obesity—even cancer.

For more information on the on Delray Medical Center’s Suite Dreams Sleep Disorders center (5352 Linton Blvd., Delray Beach) call 561/495-3171 or go through the hospitals main line at 561/498-4440. You can also visit the center’s website.

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About Lisette
Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on www.wordscomealive.com.