SleepMed conducting sleep apnea study, paying volunteers

Sleep apnea is a common disorder characterized by disrupted breathing during a person’s sleep cycle.

According to Dr. Alyssa Cairns from Columbia SleepMed, up to 80 percent of people who have sleep apnea, don’t know they have it.

SleepMed will be conducting a research program for the next two months to help diagnose people who believe they may have sleep apnea. Volunteers who take part in the study will also be getting paid $400 for their participation. Participants also must be 18 or older and not regularly using therapy for sleep apnea.

Cairns said common indicators of sleep apnea can include snoring, frequent gasping, and carrying weight in the midsection or throat area.

She said the disorder most commonly affects men, ages forty or over, but that women can certainly have sleep apnea too. Cairns encouraged people who may think they could possibly have the disorder to look into participating in SleepMed’s study.

“If you have it significantly or severely, it could actually cause a stroke, hardening of the blood vessels, erectile dysfunction, cardiovascular problems, and it could shorten your life,” Cairns said. “If you have a variety of the factors together, it should be taken seriously.”

According to Cairns, she will be able to let participants know if they have it by using an FDA approved sleep apnea monitor. The people who participate would be monitored for 10 consecutive nights, at their home. “You don’t have to sleep in any kind of laboratory,” she said. “What we’re doing is letting you sleep naturally, then passively acquiring this information.”

People interested in participating should call 803-331-8926, or email Participants also must be 18 or older, and not currently using a pre-existing form of therapy for sleep apnea.

Categories: Columbia, Education, Richland County