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Global Patient Services Winter 2011

Health Highlights

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Nothing to Snore About

Sleep Disorders Center Provides Studies for Patients & Their Families

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is commonly brushed off as nasal congestion or just plain, old snoring. Often, the spouses of those with OSA are the first to discover that there’s more to the problem than noise. Apneic episodes can deprive the heart and brain of oxygen, and eventually spiral into more serious health issues including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

The problem with OSA is that it often goes undetected for some time before action is taken. The person suffering from the sleep disorder might feel tired all day because of poor quality of sleep. Meanwhile, the heart and respiratory system are stressed because of apneic episodes.

Is It OSA?

People who are prone to OSA share certain physical traits: a large neck circumference, history of snoring, excessive weight, nasal obstruction (or physical blockage of airways like a large tongue or enlarged tonsils) and hypertension. However, not all OSA patients have these features.

Common signs of OSA include:

  • Sudden awakenings following apneic episodes with a sensation of gasping, choking or holding breath
  • Daytime sleepiness or unrefreshing sleep
  • Night sweats
  • Morning dry mouth or sore throat from snoring or respiratory distress
  • Trouble concentrating, forgetfulness or irritability
  • Impotence
  • Morning headaches

The good news: OSA is treatable and can be identified during a sleep study at Cleveland Clinic.

What Happens During a Sleep Study?

A sleep study conducted by Cleveland Clinic's Sleep Disorders Center is an overnight test that is available for patients or their accompanying family members. Our Sleep Disorders Center offers the study at your convenience – you do not have to leave your hospital room to get the study and it will not interfere with other medical appointments that are scheduled during daytime hours. The study begins at bedtime and is complete by 6:30 or 7 a.m., unless morning testing is required. Sleep studies also are arranged at Cleveland Clinic hotel rooms or at our off-site Sleep Center for visiting guests. Transportation is provided.

The sleep study environment is designed to be comfortable, despite the overnight monitoring that will take place. Specifically related to OSA, the study will involve monitoring nasal and oral airflow, oxygen levels and breathing patterns. Consultation with a sleep disorders expert can be arranged on the day following the sleep study and treatment can be initiated immediately. A patient or family member can return home from Cleveland Clinic with a plan to improve their sleep and health.

If OSA is diagnosed during a sleep study, a patient might go home with continuous positive airway pressure (C-PAP) or other PAP equipment to improve airflow during sleep. Mild OSA can be treated with oral appliances that open the airway, and in some cases surgery might be required. The sooner a patient with OSA is treated for the condition, the better this person (and bed partners) will sleep and reduce the risk of associated heart health issues.

To find out more about Cleveland Clinic's Sleep Disorders Center and how to get a sleep study during your stay in Cleveland, call 216.636.5860 or toll free 866.588.2264.

Spotlight On…

Executive Health: Providing Customized, Preventive Care for Your Busy Lifestyle

“Whether you are an executive, working parent or active individual, it’s important to take time to care for yourself,” says Dr. Antonio J. Briceño, vice president of international Medical affairs at Cleveland Clinic Florida. “The first step is to get a thorough medical exam.”

Now, starting a healthier lifestyle can realistically fit into your busy schedule – and the program is conveniently offered at three Cleveland Clinic locations – Cleveland, Weston, Florida and Toronto, Canada.

Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute is dedicated to making preventive care a driving force in medicine. The Executive Health Physical Examination is a sophisticated version of the traditional data-gathering exams, including an integrated, head-to-toe evaluation by some of the top medical staff in the world at Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, consultations with nutrition and fitness experts, and personal and executive coaches are available.

“The Executive Health Physical Examination is tailored to meet your needs, offering you premier service with minimal waiting,” Dr. Briceño says of the exam, which typically takes six to eight hours. All information shared during the exam is strictly confidential.

The customized examination goes beyond medical history and includes comprehensive laboratory tests and a variety of health, weight, fitness and stress evaluations. Women receive several additional tests, including a mammogram.

Plus, you gain access to more than 3,000 Cleveland Clinic medical and surgical experts who can provide specialty consultations and tests. Generally, consultations can be arranged within 48 hours. International patients can connect with a Cleveland Clinic Global Patient Services (GPS) representative who can assist with travel arrangements and help you plan trip details.

This customized physical is the starting point on your roadmap to better health and wellness. The results of the physical will change your life – and perhaps even save it. See how busy individuals like you proactively manage their healthcare. For more information, call 866.382.8611 or visit

InterContinental Suites Hotel Enhances Guest Health with PURE® ROOMS

The InterContinental Suites Cleveland is the first InterContinental hotel in North America to offer guests the option to stay in PURE® Allergy Friendly Rooms. The cutting-edge PURE air purification system is utilized in 13 hotel suites to dramatically improve air quality and enhance guests’ experience. In addition, PURE rooms feature deluxe bedding encasements, with virtually allergen free pillow and mattress covers, to protect guests from irritants and pollutants. The new PURE rooms are being introduced as part of the InterContinental Suites’ new wellness-themed renovation, which will transform the Cleveland hotel into a center of wellness and tranquility.

Read more about PURE® Allergy Friendly Rooms at InterContinental Suites Cleveland.

Patients Beyond Borders

World’s Leading Consumer Reference Guide Profiles Cleveland Clinic

Healthcare consumers around the world will get a taste of what it’s like to travel to Cleveland Clinic for care in the best-selling publication for the medical traveler, Patients Beyond Borders. The popular digital magazine profiles Cleveland Clinic in its FOCUS ON department as one of the top international healthcare centers in the world.

Patients Beyond Borders is the most trusted resource in international medical and health travel. The publication helps patients make important decisions about where to get the best health care, and to make those choices with peace of mind. It directs readers to successful options for medical care, and Cleveland Clinic is the first U.S. hospital to be featured in the publication. Read more about Patients Beyond Borders Focus On: Cleveland Clinic, or download your free copy.

Chat With Us – Online Health Questions, Answered

Web chats and transcripts give you 24/7 access to health information

Wish a Cleveland Clinic physician could stop in at your home to answer your health questions and concerns? With our web chats and transcripts, the health information you’re looking for is just a click away and you can access it any time of day. Connect and participate in our live forums featuring Cleveland Clinic physicians and health educators. Or, read transcripts at your convenience. These make getting answers easy no matter your time zone.

Participate in a live chat: Visit our web chat homepage and create a user name and password. Your user name will be visible if you post questions during the chat, so be sure not to choose your real name or email address.

Ask questions: To submit a question during a web chat, type into the text box below the chat display and press enter. Or, click the ask button. Physicians will answer as many questions as possible during the chat.

Read transcripts: Click on the transcript tab at the top of the web chat page and you will find links to heart and vascular and general health information transcripts.

Access a variety of topics: Whether you want to know more about abnormal heart rhythm or you want to find out more about a prescription medication, there are dozens of topics available in the transcripts section of the site. Upcoming chats are listed on the main web chat page.

Find more information: After viewing a web chat or transcript, you may decide to contact Cleveland Clinic. On the web chat page, you can easily access the online Cleveland Clinic phone directory or request a second opinion.

Get started: Visit us online or call 800.223.2273 if you have questions.

Recipe Corner

From the latest issue of Children's Health Essentials eNews

Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Pasta Toss

Using whole wheat pasta and fresh vegetables makes this recipe high in fiber, and substituting a low-fat for a full-fat dressing cuts both fat and calories. Be creative, and use any vegetables in season that you have on hand.