The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 40 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders include trouble falling (insomnia) or staying asleep, falling asleep at the wrong times (narcolepsy), too much sleep, or abnormal behaviors during sleep. One of the most common sleep disorders is sleep apnea.
Signs and symptoms for sleep apnea include excessive daytime sleepiness, or “feeling tired all the time,” loud snoring, abrupt awakenings with shortness of breath or gasps for air, chronically waking with a dry mouth or sore throat, morning headaches, or chronic irritability. A sleep study must be performed to detect sleep apnea.
Scheduling an appointment with a primary care physician, and talking about sleep, is the first step to take. After filling out a questionnaire (EPWORTH Sleepiness Score), the patient’s primary care physician will order the exam.
Clarke County Hospital is now collaborating with Iowa Sleep Disorders Clinic in Des Moines to provide in home sleep studies for our patients. An appointment is scheduled with Dr. Zorn (Iowa Sleep Disorders Clinic) via Tele-med at Clarke County Hospital. If Dr. Zorn believes a sleep study is needed to help diagnose the symptoms, he will send a home sleep study referral to Maria Chapman (respiratory therapist, CCH). Maria will work with the patient to coordinate the details and go over the equipment for monitoring the patient’s sleep activity at night. The patient receives results within (10) days of the test, and a follow-up tele-med appointment is made with Dr. Zorn to discuss the results and recommended treatment options.
Our goal is to make the entire visit as pleasant and comfortable as possible, ensuring the patient receives quality care without traveling outside of our community.