A Commonly Undiagnosed Sleep Condition is Killing Brevard County Residents

Jun 16, 2022 at 02:13 pm by pj

Parrish Healthcare first in Brevard County to receive certification in new treatment for sleep disorder


            Some 8,000 Titusville residents, and over 70,000 people in Brevard County, are hurting themselves – sometimes to the point of death – when they go to sleep, say Parrish Healthcare sleep medicine experts.


            The problem: a disorder called sleep apnea, which affects a person’s breathing while sleeping. Eight-in-10 of the people with these disorders are unaware of their condition and its effect on their lives. Parrish Healthcare’s Sleep Disorder Center is Brevard County’s first to earn the certification of all staff members to provide care for patients with Inspire Implants, one of the world’s most advanced sleep apnea treatments.


“In Titusville there are over 8,000 men and women heading to work, going grocery shopping, playing with their children and going about their daily lives completely unaware they have a medical condition capable of killing them,” said Michele Roberge, RT(R), RPSGT, CCSH, Sleep Center Supervisor. For each of these individuals, their breathing is betraying their body, slowly damaging their brain and other major organs including their heart.


Sleep Apnea is a serious condition more common than asthma, in which a person repeatedly stops and starts breathing while sleeping. The number of times someone with sleep apnea may stop breathing can range widely, from as low as five times an hour up to 100 times.  Each interruption can last from 10 seconds to more than a minute. Left undiagnosed and untreated, repeated sleep apnea causes such serious issues as heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and puts individuals at a much higher risk for stroke.


“Thankfully, multiple treatment options exist for this condition,” said Roberge. “We have treated sleep apnea successfully for years with use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines. In a new development, our center is the first in Brevard County to have all staff certified by Inspire to provide patients with the care needed following the implant, one of the world’s most advanced treatments for sleep apnea. Inspire works inside of your body by delivering mild stimulation to key airway muscles allowing them to remain open during sleep.  The staff at the Sleep Disorder Center is able to answer questions, perform evaluations and offer solutions based on individual needs.”


Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • Morning headache
  • Irritability


“If people know they have these symptoms, or have been told they do while sleeping, hope and help are on the horizon.” Roberge said.

   For more information about how to find out about your risk for sleep apnea, contact The Parrish Healthcare Sleep Center at (321) 268-6408 or email sleep@parrishmed.com.