Sleep Apnea

According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders and sleep problems that can significantly diminish health, alertness and safety. Untreated sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Sleep problems can take many forms and can involve too little sleep, too much sleep or inadequate quality of sleep.

Since 1991 we have provided a full spectrum of diagnostic testing and treatment for sleep disorders and sleep problems while providing direction for multiple area sleep centers.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD is a lung disease that causes coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. COPD is a progressive disease, which means that the disease gets worse over time. COPD includes two main conditions, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

The main cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking. Smoke and sometimes other air pollutants can irritate the airways, causing them to swell and produce mucus. The swelling makes the inside of the airways become smaller. The airways become blocked by the mucus, making it hard for air to pass in and out of your lungs. This causes wheezing and trouble breathing. Chronic bronchitis slowly gets worse, gradually reducing your ability to breath.

Cigarette smoking is the main cause of emphysema. The smoke damages the cells in your lungs. As the air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs become damaged, it gets harder for you to breath out carbon dioxide. This means more carbon dioxide stays in your lungs and you have less room for oxygen to be breathed in. Once the damage occurs it does not go away.


Asthma is a lung condition that causes wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. It is caused by an inflammation of the lining of the airways in your lungs. Asthma is a chronic condition, which means you may have it the rest of your life.

Asthma may be mild, moderate, or severe. An asthma attack may last a few minutes or for days. Attacks can happen anywhere and at any time. Severe asthma attacks can be fatal. It is very important to get prompt treatment for asthma attacks and to learn to manage your asthma so you can live a healthy and active life.


Since 2001, Pulmonary Health Physicians, PC has been participating in Phase III & IV clinical research trials. Our primary goal has been to aid in the development of medications that improve the quality of life of our patients. Participants make a valuable contribution towards developing more effective treatments, gain access to the latest treatments available from leading pharmaceutical companies, and gain a greater understanding of their medical condition.

Alpha – 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

What is Alpha-1

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) is a hereditary condition that is passed on from parents to their children through genes. This condition may result in serious lung disease in adults and/or liver disease in infants, children and adults.

Alpha-1 occurs when there is a severe lack of a protein in the blood called alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) that is mainly produced by the liver. The main function of AAT is to protect the lungs from inflammation caused by infection and inhaled irritants such as tobacco smoke. The low level of AAT in the blood occurs because the AAT is abnormal and cannot be released from the liver at the normal rate. This leads to a build up of abnormal ATT in the liver that can cause liver disease.

Who should be tested for Alpha-1
  • Everyone with emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis or asthma that is incompletely reversible after aggressive treatment
  • Individuals with bronchiectasis
  • Newborns, children and adults with unexplained liver disease
  • Individuals with a family history of liver disease
  • Blood relatives of a person diagnosed with Alpha-1
  • Anyone with panniculitis, a skin disease
What are the most common symptoms of Alpha-1
Symptoms related to the lungs:
Shortness of breath
Chronic cough and sputum (phlegm) production
Recurring chest colds
Symptoms related to the liver:
Eyes and skin turning yellow (jaundice)
Swelling of the abdomen (ascites)
Vomiting blood or passing blood in the stool

Since 2011 Pulmonary Health Physicians, PC has been designated as a Clinical Resource Center (CRC) by the Alpha-1 Foundation. CRCs serve as resource centers specializing in clinical care and research in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. They also provide consultation and support to other physicians concerning treatment options for patients.

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension is part of a bigger group of disorders known as Pulmonary Hypertension (PH). PH may be seen in patients with heart disease, including heart failure. It is also common in patients with lung diseases including COPD, fibrosis and sleep apnea.

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension is high blood pressure occurring in the arteries of the lungs. It is caused by abnormal changes in the walls of the pulmonary arteries that cause the arteries to narrow and lead to decreased blood flow.

Symptoms of PAH
Symptoms of PAH are non-specific (not diagnostic) and may include:
Progressive shortness of breath (especially with activity)
Rapid breathing
Chest pain
Fatigue (tiring easily)
Progressive weakness
Fainting spells
Lightheadedness or dizziness
Examination by a health care professional may show:
Cyanosis (blue color of lips, hands and feet)
Engorgement of neck veins
Swelling of hands and legs
Liver enlargement
Abnormal heart examination
Treatment of PAH

A patient with PAH must be monitored by routine visits to their pulmonologist or cardiologist. It is important to report any new or change in symptoms to your doctor.

Medication regimens are usually thought of as:

Usual therapy which may include:
Water pills
Calcium channel blockers
Blood thinners
Oxygen therapy
Newer therapy such as:
Prostacycline analogues
Endothelin receptor antagonists
Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors

Many drugs for treating PAH have strong, serious side effects. The dosage and frequency of use must be carefully set and monitored to avoid dangerous consequences. For some cases of PAH, lung transplantation may be an option.

Left untreated, PAH can result in decreased quality of life, frequent hospitalization and multi-organ system failure and even death.

Smoking Cessation

Smoking is bad for you. It causes cancer, heart attacks, hardening of the arteries, bronchitis, emphysema, cough, shortness of breath, wrinkles, and premature aging. It stains teeth and fingers, irritates the eyes, and causes bad breath.

Tobacco use can lead to nicotine dependence and serious health problems. Cessation can significantly reduce the risk of suffering from smoking-related diseases. Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition that often requires repeated interventions, but effective treatments and helpful resources exist. Smokers can and do quit smoking. In fact, today there are more former smokers than current smokers.

We understand how difficult it can be and we can help.

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