What is sleep apnea?
When you have sleep apnea there is limiting or stopping of air that reaches your lungs resulting in poor oxygen supply to your body and brain. Sleep apnea can be obstructive or central.
Obstructive sleep apnea: This is the most common type, due to closure of airways when you try to breathe. You snore or make choking and gasping noises.
Common causes for obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Overweight or obese
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- Male more common than female
- Alcohol or other sedatives
- Nasal congestion and allergy
- Family history of sleep apnea
Central sleep apnea: In this condition the brain does not send signals to the muscles that control breathing.
- Common causes for central sleep apnea include:
- Opioid pain medications
- Congestive heart failure or other heart conditions
- Degenerative conditions of brain
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
The symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Choking that wakes you up
- Pauses in breathing while you sleep (observed by family members)
- Excessive daytime fatigue or sleepiness
- Waking up with a dry mouth and/or headache
- Waking up frequently during the night to urinate
Consequences of sleep apnea
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Higher risk of stroke
- Worsening of diabetes
- Cognitive issues, including memory problems,
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Excessive sleepiness which can lead to accidents at work and when driving
- Pregnancy complications and premature delivery
How is sleep apnea diagnosed
Sleep study is the test that confirms diagnosis of sleep apnea.
We provide two choices in doing sleep study:
Home sleep study
In lab sleep study
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
- Weight loss
- Avoid alcohol and narcotic pain medication
- Non supine sleeping or sleep propped up
Sleep apnea Devices
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device
Provent nasal valve device
Surgery for Sleep Apnea
Common surgical procedures include:
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): This surgery involves the removal of some tissue in the back of the throat so that it can no longer block the airway. If tonsils are enlarged, they are removed.
- Maxilo Mandibular advancement (MMA): During this surgery, the jaw is broken and re positioned further forward to help keep the airway open
- Inspire: A small device is placed just under your skin during a short outpatient procedure. It delivers gentle stimulation to key airway muscles during sleep, allowing your airway to remain open. Simply turn it on with the Inspire Sleep Remote before bed and off when you wake up.