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  • Last modified 66 days ago (May 15, 2019)

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Sleep study space plays key role for locals

Staff writer

Sleep is critical to health, so being able to stay in county for sleep studies is important, Hillsboro physician Michael Reeh said.

Thanks to St. Luke Hospital’s work with Rural Sleep Solutions, he says he rarely sends patients to Salina or Wichita for sleep studies.

“It’s an asset to not have to drive far to go to sleep,” Reeh said. “You don’t have to drive more than 15 minutes.”

Sleep apnea is among the most common sleep disorders he treats, he said.

“When people have a problem falling asleep, that’s probably the number one symptom of sleep apnea,” he said. “Sleep apnea can cause heart rhythm problems.”

The number of people with apnea has not risen, but more people are in need of sleep studies as their CPAP machines get older, Reeh said.

As machines wear out, insurance companies want new sleep studies done to make sure people need the same CPAP settings, he said.

The mask on a CPAP machine opens up a patient’s airways by providing steady pressure to the nasal and mouth portions of the face.

Sleep disturbances can be life threatening in some cases, like causing accidents when falling asleep while driving, Reeh said. Commercial drivers who drive long hours are a subject of some concern by doctors who treat poor sleep, he said.

“There was discussion at the national level that all CDL drivers should have a sleep study,” he said. “It didn’t pass, but commercial drivers falling asleep is a big factor.”

Last modified May 15, 2019

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