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Carbondale, PA
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Sleep Disorders

           Millions of Americans could have healthier lives, be more productive at home and work, as well as get more enjoyment out of life.   Lack of quality sleep gradually results in daily fatigue, loss of concentration, as well as work- related loss of productivity and accidents.  While millions of Americans suffer with poor quality sleep, only a small percentage seek help.  Sleep disorders affect men and women of every age, race and socioeconomic class.

          “Almost everyone has periods of insomnia, where they have trouble getting to sleep or sleeping through the night,” relates Dr. Vithalbhai Dhaduk, Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Marian Community Hospital, Carbondale.  “Many victims think that there is no treatment for their condition or think it is something they have to put up with.  Others treat themselves with over-the-counter medications or alcohol.   When lack of sleep impacts on the quality of life, the problem becomes a medical concern that should be discussed with a doctor.”

          Often symptoms are first identified by a bed partner or someone else in the household who complains about loud snoring, thrashing, or seeing that the other individual actually stops breathing for prolonged times during the night.  Sleep disorders and disturbances of sleep comprise a broad range of problems.  Some of the major ones include sleep apnea and snoring, narcolepsy, insomnia and disturbances associated with a variety of medical conditions and disorders. 

          “Most often a victim of a sleep disorder will first discuss the situation with their family doctor,” outlined Dr. Dhaduk, a neurologist with offices in Carbondale and Scranton.  “Many times there are things that someone with a sleep problem may unwittingly do that prevents a good night’s sleep.  Alcohol slows brain activity.  When used at bedtime, it may help a person initially fall asleep, but will disrupt sleep later.  Over-the-counter medications may stimulate rather than relax a person and usually only work to mask underlying causes of sleep problems.  Caffeine stimulates the brain and interferes with sleep.  In addition to coffee, caffeine can also be found in tea, colas, cocoa, chocolate as well as some prescription and non-prescription drugs.  Nicotine is another stimulant that interferes with sleep. 

          With an evaluation and medical examination, the physician can rule out specific conditions or medical problems that may cause the sleep disturbance.  If this evaluation fails to uncover the problem, the patient will be referred to a sleep disorders specialist.

A specialist in sleep disorders medicine will complete a medical assessment, including a medical history and physical.  The physician may also speak to a spouse or other family members about the patient’s sleeping and waking behavior.

          In approximately 30 percent of sleep disorder cases, specific physical conditions exist to cause the symptoms.  There may be excessive soft tissue making it difficult for the patient to breathe properly.  This and many other conditions can be treated with various medical devices or surgical procedures to reduce or relieve symptoms.



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