Sleep Disorders Treated at The Lung Center at Mercy


This 3D medical animation shows normal respiratory anatomy, and how obstructive sleep apnea happens. Common symptoms, complications, and treatments for this disorder are also shown.

The Lung Center at Mercy provides a comprehensive sleep evaluation in its state-of-the-art facilities for patients experiencing sleep disorders. Sleep disorders can include sleep deprivation, lack of sleep or inability to sleep at all. The Sleep Center at Mercy offers patients experienced physicians specializing in Sleep Medicine and sleep-related research.

About the Condition

It is well documented that a good night’s sleep is important to your overall health. Both quantity (number of sleep hours) and quality (minimal to no interruptions) are important factors in determining sleep wellness. A sleep disorder may affect the quantity and quality of sleep and it may impact daytime functioning. The most common sleep disorders are sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Sleeping through the night without waking up is routine for most people. For others, lack of sleep, the feeling they can’t sleep at all and the feeling of exhaustion during the day can be signs or symptoms of sleep disorders. Sleep apnea is one of the more serious sleep disorders. Sleep apnea occurs when breathing temporarily stops and starts during sleeping. This is caused by the blockage of the upper airways. 

There are two types of sleep apnea - obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea is when the breathing stops and starts due to obstruction of the upper airways. Central apnea happens when breathing starts and stops due to the brain not sending the appropriate signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Symptoms of sleep apnea may include:

  • Extreme daytime sleepiness (while sitting or driving)
  • Irregular breathing
  • Loud snoring
  • Dry mouth or sore throat in morning
  • Sudden awakenings accompanied with sore throat
  • Headaches in morning
  • Insomnia
  • Inability to stay focused
  • Sleep deprivation

To diagnose obstructive sleep apnea the doctor will evaluate your signs and symptoms and may recommend a sleep center like The Sleep Center at Mercy for a sleep study.  At The Sleep Center at Mercy, doctors administer tests to monitor breathing during sleep. The tests for obstructive sleep may include:

  • Nocturnal polysomnography
  • Oximetry
  • Portable cardiorespiratory

Central sleep apnea patients are usually evaluated by a cardiologist or neurologist. 

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Some sleep disorders may require the help of a sleep specialist.  Other sleep disorders can improve by identifying and carefully tracking symptoms and sleep patterns, and by making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, stopping smoking, using nasal decongestants and not sleeping on the back.
Obstructive sleep apnea treatment options may include:

  • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine
  • Mouthpiece or oral device
  • Surgery

Treatment options for central sleep apnea may include:

  • Assess associated medical problems
  • Reduction of certain medications such as Opioids
  • CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure
  • BPAP (Bi-level positive airway pressure)
  • ASV (Adaptive servo-ventilation
  • Additional  oxygen
  • Medications