Information for Doctors

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Thoracic Medicine

Think you might have a breathing disorder or just looking for more information?

Sleep Medicine

Latest News

Office workers with more light exposure at work had longer sleep duration, better sleep quality, more physical activity and better quality of life compared to office workers with less light exposure in the workplace.

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Can you be sleep deprived without knowing it? Sleep is not always prioritised however the implications can be devastating. Even one night sleep deprived can be impacting your body on a variety of different levels; physically and psychologically. The only way to know if you are getting consolidated sleep is to monitor with specialised equipment what is happening when you are asleep.

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In what may be the largest study of sleep problems among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers at UC Davis have found that widely undiagnosed sleep disorders may be at the root of the most common and disabling symptom of the disease: fatigue. Study paticipant reports of sleep disorder frequency, sleep patterns and complaints of excessive daytime sleepiness suggest that sleep problems may be a hidden epidemic in the MS population.

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A sleep-promoting circuit located deep in the primitive brainstem has revealed how we fall into deep sleep. Discovered by researchers at Harvard School of Medicine and the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, this is only the second "sleep node" identified in the mammalian brain whose activity appears to be both necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep.  Using designer genes, researchers were able to 'turn on' specific neurons in the brainstem that result in deep sleep.

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Insomnia can cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to weight gain, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and earlier death. This study finds that curing the insomnia reduces the inflammation and hopefully reduces disease. It also found the best way to cure lack of sleep is through the use of a common psychotherapy treatment - cognitive behavioural therapy.

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Getting enough sleep is important to people of any age, but it is especially so for teenagers, with insufficient sleep possibly being linked to obesity as an adult.

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Do I Have A Breathing Disorder?

The Lung Health Checklist*

This questionnaire comes from the Australian Lung Foundation and will help you to determine whether your lung health could be at risk.

If you answer yes to any of the questions below you should seriously consider talking to your doctor:

Do you:

Have a new, persistent or changed cough? Yes/No
Cough up mucus, phlegm or blood? Yes/No
Experience chest tightness or wheeze? Yes/No
Get out of breath more easily than others your age? Yes/No
Have frequent chest infections? Yes/No
Experience chest pain, fatigue or sudden weight loss? Yes/No

 

Answering Yes to any of the above could be a sign your lung health could be at risk...particularly if you:

Are a smoker or ex-smoker, or you have worked in a job that exposed you to dust, gas or fumes.

If you believe you are at risk of a respiratory disorder, take the responses from this questionnaire to your doctor as it will assist you in starting the conversation with them. They may refer you to our lung function lab for further testing or to one of our specialists for a consultation..

*This Lung Health Checklist has been designed by The Australian Lung Foundation to assist the community in monitoring their lung health. It is intended to be used as a guide only and is not an authoritative statement. Please consult your doctor for medical opinion or advice.

Breathlessness Assessment Questionnaire

Think of how you feel today compared to 6-12 months ago. Do you get breathless (or feel more breathless), feel faint or dizzy performing ordinary daily activities such as:

Making the bed Yes No
Having a shower Yes No
Doing the washing and hanging it out Yes No
Walking to the corner store or around the supermarket Yes No
Climbing a flight of stairs Yes No
Walking up a gentle incline Yes No
In bed or while lying down Yes No

In the last 6-12 months, have you avoided any activities because they make you short of breath (or have you changed the way you do an activity because it makes you short of breath)? Yes No
In the last 6-12 months, have any of your friends or family commented that you seem out of breath or do things at a slower place? Yes No

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