University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations


October 8, 2003

USA Physicians Explores Sleep Apnea Problem

Sleep apnea is a major health problem that left untreated can lead to disease, increased medical costs, diminished quality of life, even death. In a new self-help book, “Sleep Apnea-The Phantom of the Night,” co-author Dr. William A. Broughton explains the disorder and provides information that will help people overcome the syndrome and their nighttime struggle to breath, sleep and live. Broughton is director of the Sleep Disorders Center at University of South Alabama Knollwood Hospital and a Diplomat of the American Boards of Internal Medicine and Sleep Medicine.

“Contrary to what many people believe, snoring is not a sound of sound sleep. It can be a symptom of sleep apnea, a disorder of breathing during sleep,” said Broughton. “People who suffer with sleep apnea are awaked numerous, sometimes hundreds of times during the night, trying to breathe. As a result they wake up tired and unrefreshed, leaving them less able to cope and prone to many emotional as well as physical problems.”

According to Broughton, many people have sleep apnea and don’t even know it. Although apnea can be easily identified and treated, many go undiagnosed because they don’t know to talk to their doctor about the problem. By the same token, many primary care physicians are not familiar with the benefits of sleep medicine and often miss signs that their patients need help.

The book provides people with apnea information in a concise, east to understand format that encourages them to seek treatment and reclaim their lost sleep and life. Complete coverage and comparison of all current treatments for sleep apnea are provided including oral appliances and surgery, as well as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, better known as CPAP. Patients experiences, including difficulties encountered with CPAP treatments, are also included to reinforce the importance of communication with you doctor and home care providers.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of being a sleep physician is seeing patients successfully treated and returning to normalcy,” said Broughton. “They are pleased and excited about the change that has occurred.”

“Sleep Apnea-The Phantom of the Night” is published by New Technology Publishing Inc. and is available at bookstores and online at or 1-800-APNEA, 800-672-7632.


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