Thank you for your interest in Pulmonary Sleep & Critical Care Specialists.
We are dedicated to the diagnosis, intervention, and treatment of Pulmonary Disease and Sleep Disorders. We also specialize in Critical Care, which means that we will care for you not only in the office, but in the hospital as well. Since we have admitting privileges in all three of our local hospitals (Bayfront Health Punta Gorda, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte, and Fawcett Memorial Hospital), we will also be able to see you in the hospital and make sure that you receive the same quality care.
We offer a range of Pulmonary Services. In addition, we have a contemporary Sleep Disorders Center, which is Accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. We conveniently offer the following in office procedures:
- Pulmonary Function Testing
- Six Minute Walk Testing
- Pulse Oximetry
- Overnight Sleep Testing
- Alpha 1 Testing
We personally engage with our patients and you may even see us out and about in our local community showing support and sharing our passion for a healthy and happy life style.
Our team of physicians can help treat and manage many pulmonary and sleep symptoms, such as:
Shortness of breath has many causes. Sometimes conditions such as anxiety can lead to shortness of breath. Some people get mild shortness of breath when they exercise. Trouble breathing also can be a symptom of a serious problem, such as asthma, lung disease, emphysema, heart problems, and pneumonia.
If your shortness of breath continues, you may need tests and treatment. Watch for any changes in your breathing and other symptoms.
Everybody gets a little sleepy once in a while, during a long car ride or other times when you want to be alert. But some people cannot control their sleepiness. It is no fun to be in the middle of your workday or driving your car down the street and have an overwhelming desire to sleep. This condition is called narcolepsy.
Doctors do not know what causes narcolepsy. Your doctor may ask you to keep a sleep diary for a couple of weeks. It will help you and your doctor decide on treatment.
It often helps to take limited naps during the day. And these things might help you sleep better at night: create a good place to sleep, do things that help your mood before you go to bed, and keep a consistent sleep schedule.
Your doctor may recommend medicine to help you stay awake during the day or sleep at night.
Sleep apnea means that you frequently stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. It can be mild to severe, based on the number of times an hour that you stop breathing or have slowed breathing.
Blocked or narrowed airways in your nose, mouth, or throat can cause sleep apnea. Your airway can become blocked when your throat muscles and tongue relax during sleep.
You can treat sleep apnea at home by making lifestyle changes. You also can use a PAP breathing machine that keeps tissues in the throat from blocking your airway. Or your doctor may suggest that you use a breathing device while you sleep. It helps keep your airway open. This could be a device that you put in your mouth. In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove enlarged tissues in the throat.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome is a common nervous system problem. People with this syndrome feel a creeping, achy, or unpleasant feeling in the legs and an overpowering urge to move them. It often occurs in the evening and at night and can lead to sleep problems and tiredness.
Your doctor may suggest doing a study of your sleep patterns to figure out what is happening when you try to sleep. Many people get relief from symptoms when they get regular exercise, eat well, and avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition in which scarring occurs in the lungs; it can be caused by an infection (such as tuberculosis or pneumonia) or injury or by breathing certain materials, such as asbestos. But sometimes no cause can be found for pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis makes the lungs less elastic and can lead to breathing problems.
Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis include:
- Shortness of breath.
- Decreased ability to be active.
- Dry cough.
Treatment for pulmonary fibrosis focuses on relieving symptoms. But pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease, and there is no known cure.
Emphysema is damage to the air sacs in your lungs. In a healthy person, the tiny air sacs in the lungs are like balloons. As you breathe in and out, they get bigger and smaller to move air through your lungs. With emphysema, these air sacs lose their stretch. Less oxygen gets into your blood and you feel short of breath.
Emphysema is a form of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Emphysema is usually caused by smoking. But chemical fumes, dust, or air pollution also can cause it over time. People who get it in their 30s or 40s may have a disorder that runs in families, called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. But this is rare.
Asthma is a long-term condition that affects your breathing. It causes the airways that lead to the lungs to swell.
People with asthma may have asthma attacks. During an asthma attack, the airways tighten and become narrower. This makes it hard to breathe, and you may wheeze or cough. If you have a bad asthma attack, you may need emergency care.
Asthma affects people in different ways. Some people only have asthma attacks during allergy season, or when they breathe in cold air, or when they exercise. Others have many bad attacks that send them to the doctor often.
Lung cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow out of control in the lung. Lung cancer can start anywhere in the lungs and spread to other parts of the body.
Treatment for lung cancer depends on what type of lung cancer you have and how advanced it is. Treatment may include surgery to remove the cancer. It could also include medicines (chemotherapy) or radiation to destroy cancer cells.
Being treated for cancer can weaken your body, and you may feel very tired. Home treatment and certain medicines can help you feel better.
Finding out that you have cancer is scary. You may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counselors for support. You also can do things at home to make yourself feel better while you go through treatment. Call the American Cancer Society (1-800-227-2345) or visit its website at www.cancer.org for more information.
Alpha 1 Treatment
Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) is a protein normally found in your lungs and blood. It helps protect the lungs from damage that leads to the lung disease emphysema.
Some people do not make enough AAT in their bodies. This is called AAT deficiency. It is also called inherited emphysema, because it is passed down by genes that you inherit from your family. If you have AAT deficiency, you may get emphysema at a young age. People with AAT deficiency may get emphysema when they are 30 or 40 years old, especially if they smoke. If you have AAT deficiency but do not smoke, you may not get emphysema.
Snoring is a noise that you may make while breathing during sleep. You snore when the flow of air from your mouth or nose to your lungs makes the tissues of your throat vibrate while you sleep. This usually is caused by a blockage or narrowing in your nose, mouth, or throat (airway).
Snoring can be soft, loud, raspy, harsh, hoarse, or fluttering. Your bed partner may notice that you sleep with your mouth open and that you are restless while sleeping. If snoring interferes with your or your bed partner’s sleep, either or both of you may feel tired during the day.
You may be able to help reduce your snoring by making changes in your activities and in the way you sleep.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a general term for a group of lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. People with COPD have decreased airflow in and out of the lungs, which makes it hard to breathe. The airways also can get clogged with thick mucus. Cigarette smoking is a major cause of COPD.
Although there is no cure for COPD, you can slow its progress. Following your treatment plan and taking care of yourself can help you feel better and live longer.
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the arteries of your lungs. These blood vessels carry blood from the heart to the lungs, where the blood picks up oxygen. The walls of the arteries may get thick, and the arteries may get narrow. When this happens, blood does not flow as well as it should. Pressure builds up in the arteries. Then your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your lungs.
There are different types of pulmonary hypertension. They are caused by different things. Causes include other health conditions such as heart or lung problems. Sometimes it can happen without a known cause.
When you have this condition, your body gets less oxygen from your blood. This causes symptoms such as shortness of breath and feeling tired, faint, or dizzy. Over time, these symptoms may change or get worse if your heart gets weaker. You may get heart failure. Heart failure means your heart doesn’t pump as much blood as your body needs.
Treatment can help you feel better and live longer. Your treatment options will depend on the type of pulmonary hypertension you have.
It can be hard to learn that you have a problem with your lungs and heart. But there are things you can do to feel better and stay as active as you can.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call us during regular office hours to set up an appointment and let us help you regain your quality of life.
Pulmonary Sleep & Critical Care Specialists