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Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes your breathing to stop and start repeatedly while you sleep. If you have this condition, you may snore loudly, and you may feel tired even after you’ve slept all night.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications. People with sleep apnea often deal with:
Three different types of sleep apnea exist:
Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain doesn’t send the right signals to the muscles responsible for controlling your breathing during sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax and obstruct your airway.
Complex sleep apnea syndrome occurs when you have both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea at the same time.
You should suspect sleep apnea if you snore loudly enough to disturb others or to wake yourself up. You should also consider seeing our doctors for sleep apnea if you wake up gasping for air, or if your partner has noticed pauses in your breathing during sleep.
If your doctor suspects that you may have sleep apnea, they’ll recommend that you spend the night in the sleep lab. While you’re in the sleep lab, you’ll be hooked to machines that measure your brainwaves, oxygen level, heart rate, breathing, eye movements, and leg movements. Based on the information gained in this study, our doctors will be able to determine whether you have sleep apnea.
If you have sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This device includes a mask that fits over your face and provides air pressure while you sleep. The pressure keeps your throat open so you won’t have symptoms of sleep apnea, but other types of airway pressure devices are also available for people who don’t respond well to CPAP.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!