Physician finds peace in helping people get a good night’s sleep

Dr. Karnib specializes in serious respiratory conditions in the intensive care unit and treating outpatients who have trouble getting a good night’s sleep.

Hala Karnib, M.D., found her calling early in life and never strayed from it. Not in grade school.

Not in high school. Not in college or medical school.

“I know it sounds cliché, but I always had the drive to be a doctor,” she said.

Her ambition was sparked by a positive health care experience during childhood.

“I really liked going to my pediatrician,” Dr. Karnib said. “I still remember his name, his office and everything about the experience of going to see him.”

As a child, she announced her plans and set out on a path to become the first physician in her family.

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The Michigan native joined Norton Healthcare in August 2018 after finishing a three-year fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at University of Louisville Hospital. Prior to that, Dr. Karnib completed a one-year sleep medicine fellowship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. As a physician at Norton Pulmonary Specialists, Dr. Karnib practices in all three areas.

Her practice includes caring for people with serious respiratory conditions in the intensive care unit and treating patients who have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that 25 million people in the U.S. are affected by obstructive sleep apnea.

“It’s becoming more frequently diagnosed,” Dr. Karnib said of sleep apnea. “I think that’s due to awareness on the part of practitioners and patients, and more information out there to help people recognize symptoms.”

Many of Dr. Karnib’s patients seek care because they wake up feeling tired and stay that way all day. Those symptoms shouldn’t be ignored.

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“There is a lot of literature that shows the link between untreated sleep apnea and other health issues, such as diabetes, kidney disease, uncontrolled blood pressure, heart conditions and stroke,” she said.

With proper screening and treatment, most people affected by obstructive sleep apnea feel better and improve overall health.

Dr. Karnib encourages adults to make good sleep hygiene a priority.

“I think people underestimate how important it is to have a structure when it comes to your sleep schedule, such as what time you go to bed and wake up,” she said.


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