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Sleep Disorder Center Patient Stories

Sleep disorders can affect a wide range of people. Our center is committed to helping people discover the extent and type of sleep problem that you have. Careful evaluation of the study can lead to effective treatment for your problem, just as it did for these patients. Read their sleep disorder testimonials below to see how our services helped them get a good night's sleep.

While the daytime sleepiness that is a symptom of undiagnosed sleep apnea is an inconvenience that interferes with normal daily activities for many people, it is a dangerous situation for those who drive for a living. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that as many 28 percent of commercial driver’s license holders have sleep apnea.1

Irvin Belton is one of those drivers. A 2002 surgical procedure did not alleviate his snoring, so when he began driving commercially in 2004, he was still snoring, not sleeping well during the night and waking up tired. “I had headaches all of the time and was tired throughout the day,” he adds. “I had to pull over during the day to rest many more times than required by regulations.”

A sleep study conducted at the DeKalb Medical Sleep Disorders Center showed that Belton does have sleep apnea. The breathing-related sleep disorder causes brief interruptions of breathing during sleep and is not only dangerous for drivers who can fall asleep at the wheel, but it can lead to other health problems, including high blood pressure, memory problems, stroke and weight gain.

The good news is that sleep apnea is treatable with the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). The idea of wearing a mask attached to a machine while sleeping may seem cumbersome, but new mask designs that are made especially for women or cover nostrils only, are more comfortable and easier to use, says T. Massey Arrington, RPSGT, MBA, manager of the Sleep Disorders Center.

Belton doesn’t regret taking the time to undergo his sleep study. Not only did he learn how to treat his sleep apnea, he also learned how to manage his sleep routine even though he drives at night. “In order to maintain my certification to drive, I have to document use of my CPAP and show that I am sleeping well,” he says. “I’ve made a lot of changes to improve my sleep by using the CPAP, sleeping at the same time each day and making sure I eat healthy while on the road.”

Click here to see the full article in DeKalb Medical's Pushing Beyond magazine.

1 Pack AI, Dinges DF, & Maislin G. (2002) A Study of Prevalence of Sleep Apnea among Commercial Truck Drivers (Report No. DOT-RT-02-030). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation, FMCSA.

Her mother’s concern is what led Jaci to the Sleep Disorders Center at DeKalb Medical.

“Sleep apnea runs in my family, so my mother wanted me to see if it was the cause of my sleep problems,” says Jaci Lund. At age 27, Lund is not a typical sleep disorder patient but the family history of sleep apnea, which has required surgery for some family members, along with her symptoms such as daytime sleepiness and feeling tired as she woke each morning, made her decide to undergo a sleep study.

“I put the test off because I thought it was weird to know that you were going to sleep while being hooked up to equipment and monitored throughout the night,” Lund admits. “Once I arrived and met Monty [the sleep technician], I felt comfortable,” she says.

The technician explained every piece of equipment and assured Lund that she would be comfortable throughout the night. “I slept throughout the night,” Lund says. “The results of my test showed that I only reached the first two levels of sleep, not the deeper third and fourth levels of sleep, because I did have sleep apnea,” she says.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which people don’t breathe normally during sleep. Abnormal breathing during sleep deprives the brain of the amount of oxygen it needs to function properly and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. The most common treatment for sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

“I had to return for a second study to get set up for CPAP but I wasn’t nervous about this test,” says Lund. After receiving the CPAP machine, Lund began sleeping better throughout the night. “I didn’t realize how poorly I had slept and how much I craved a good night’s sleep,” she admits.

“Now, I’m doing great,” she says. “I use my CPAP most of the time and I feel better throughout the day.

Virendra Kharod underwent a sleep study at another center before coming to the Sleep Disorders Center at DeKalb Medical but he was not finding any benefit from the CPAP machine originally provided to him.

“I went to DeKalb Medical for another study because I was still not sleeping well,” says Kharod. At the same time, Virendra’s wife, Manisha, was told by her primary care physician that she should also undergo a sleep study. “Snoring was a problem for both of us and we were missing breaths,” he explains.

Virendra’s study showed that his CPAP machine was not set to the right pressure and the adjustment was made. Manisha’s study showed that she also had sleep apnea. “She had to come back for a second sleep study to receive her CPAP and make sure it was adjusted properly,” he says. “We are both sleeping well and we are not sleepy throughout the day,” he adds.

Kharod was impressed with the staff at the Sleep Disorders Center. “They were very flexible about scheduling our studies,” he says. “We had to go on a Friday night because our daughter works during the week and would not be able to pick us up on a weekday morning,” he explains. “The staff is very kind and very respectful of older people.”

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Emory Decatur Hospital
Sleep Center

2665 North Decatur Road
Suite 435
Decatur, GA 30033

Emory Hillandale Hospital
Sleep Center

2801 DeKalb Medical Parkway
Lithonia, GA 30058


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