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Thoracic Medicine

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Sleep Medicine

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Often times when we can’t sleep or we feel tired throughout the day, there are common “quick fixes” which we use to help us fall asleep easier and give us an extra boost in the morning. However, some of these habits can often be detrimental to your sleep health, affecting you not just at night, but throughout the day as well.

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New research has found that the less we sleep in midlife, the faster our brains can decline and lead to cognitive impairment in old age.

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“What is happening in YOUR sleep?!? How can you really know? Ever thought of using a sleep app? There are some misunderstandings to what data is relevant when using sleep apps so understanding the limitations are IMPORTANT. "It is always recommended to follow up with a sleep study to be sure nothing is missed. “

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A diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) may raise the risk of osteoporosis, particularly among women or older individuals, according to a new study. OSA is a condition that causes brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. If left untreated, OSA can raise the risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.  New research shows that OSA may also increase the risk of osteoporosis.

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Insomnia predisposes individuals to increased risk of stroke and this association is profound among young adults – up to eight times greater among insomniacs 18 to 34 years old.  The results of a recent study underscore the clinical importance of identifying and treating insomnia.

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Heavy drinking damages the body in many ways. In addition to liver failure, alcoholics are at a much greater risk of developing pneumonia and life threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), for which there is no treatment. Researchers suspect that alcoholics are more susceptible to these lung diseases because the immune system in the lung is no longer strong enough to protect from infection and damage, but, it had been unclear why the immune system in the lung fails.

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Lung Function Testing Preparation

Lung Function Testing Preparation 

 

A lung function test is a series of breathing tests where you will be required to breathe in different patterns through a mouthpiece.  These patterns may require you to breath fast, take big breaths in, empty your lungs out and hold your breath.  The respiratory scientist conducting the test will talk you through each process.  A lung function test is a simple, non-invasive way to examine the lungs and your breathing.

Why am i having this test?

There are many different reasons your doctor may send you to get a lung function test.  Some of these reasons include:

  • To diagnose the cause of a cough or shortness of breath
  • To evaluate the severity of disease
  • As a general check-up for lung health especially if you have had exposure to cigarette smoke or other hazardous chemicals
  • To track disease progression

What do i bring to my test?

If you take any inhalers bring these along with you to your test.  Wear comfortable clothes that will not restrict your breathing

How long will the test take?

The lung function test generally takes about half an hour.  The exact length of the test will vary for each individual.

Could i feel unwell during the test?

During the testing you may feel a little bit breathless.  The tests can also make you cough and lightheaded for a few seconds.  This is normal and you will be given time to recover between tests.  There are no side effects from testing and you will be fine to drive home afterwards.

patient instructions:

All patients are asked to refrain from the following before all tests:

  • Smoking (1 hour)
  • Consuming alcohol or caffeinated drinks (4 hours)
  • Performing vigorous exercise (1 hour)
  • Eating a large meal (2 hours)
  • Wearing restrictive clothing

Specific test instructions:

For these tests Spirometry before and after bronchodilator, Six minute walk test and/or FeNO please note the following:

4 hours before – do not take relievers such as Ventolin, Bricanyl, Atrovent, Asmol or Airomir

12 hours before – do not take long acting relievers such as Foradil, Oxis or Serevent

Mannitol Challenge Test

The Mannitol challange test require some small preparation for the results to be interpreted accurately.

You have been asked by your doctor to perform a Mannitol Challenge test.  During the test you will inhale some Mannitol – which is a sugary powder.  Between doses you will perform spirometry (a simple breathing test) to assess how your lungs respond to the Mannitol.  It is important that you do not take certain medications prior to your test – please refer to the following table.  If you feel you need to take your medications do not hesitate to take them, and call your doctor to reschedule your test appointment.


Things Not To Take:



Day of test

Caffeine (coffee, energy drinks, cola or chocolate), do not smoke or perform vigorous exercise.


8 Hours before test

Ventolin, Bricanyl, Atrovent, Asmol, Airomir, Intal, Tilade


12 Hours before test

Pulmicort, Flixotide Atrovent, QVar, Becloforte, Becotide


48 Hours before test

Seretide, Symbicort, Serevent, Oxis, Nuelin


72 Hours before test

Spiriva, Zyrtec, Telfast, Claratyne


4 Days before

Singulair



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin Allergen Testing

72 hours prior to this test avoid taking any form of antihistamines (e.g.: Zyrtec, Telfast or Claratyne).

Nasal Resistance Testing

4 hours prior to this test avoid using any nasal vasoconstrictors.

If you have taken any medications or performed any activities which you think might influence (either positively or negatively) the results of any of these tests inform the respiratory staff prior to the test commencing.


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