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St. Joseph Clinic Offers Home Test for Sleep Apnea

The Covenant Health Center in St Joseph provides the initial test. It's portable enough to be brought to the bedroom.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Catching some zzz's is easy for most, but for those with sleep apnea, putting head to pillow can have deadly consequences.

For 30 percent of Americans, the potentially dangerous sleep disorder can leave people feeling fatigued.

"When someone has sleep apnea they stop breathing for longer than 10 seconds at a time. Their oxygen gets lower," said Elizabeth Wilmes, Convenant Health Center.

The lack of oxygen can put a sleeper hold on victims who suffer from symptoms all day long

"Symptoms would be snoring, wheezing, gasping for breath, and then some daytime symptoms too, like daytime sleepiness, fatigue. Some other symptoms could be high blood pressure, hypertension stuff like that," added Wilmes.

Fortunately, there is relief. The Covenant Health Center in St Joseph provides the initial test. And it's portable enough to be brought to the bedroom.

"After we complete those screenings, we would send them home with a home sleep test and that is something that you take home with you, it goes on you while you sleep, and it monitors if you stop breathing your oxygen, and your snoring," said Wilmes.

Although there are a lot of buckles and cords, it is the first step in determining the proper treatment

"There is surgery that is an option. It's probably going to be the last option," she added.

Medical professionals warn - take this condition seriously. Sleep apnea is more than snoring, it can also cause a stroke, heart disease, hyertension and if left untreated even death.

In the months to come, St. Joseph will be opening the city's first sleep lab.

Respiratory technicians there will be monitoring brain waves, breathing patterns, and oxygen levels.

Convenant Health Center is still trying to determine the best location for the sleep lab.

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