Sleep Apnea

Common Sleep Disorders

  • Sleep Apnea – when a person stops and then starts breathing again many times a night.
  • Narcolepsy – when a person falls asleep suddenly many times a day.
  • Chronic Insomnia – when a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep night after night.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

A common sign of sleep apnea is loud snoring followed by a breathless pause and ending with a snort or gasp. Other signs include restless movements, high blood pressure, impotence, morning headache, problems with memory and concentration, and extreme tiredness or sleepiness.

Risks of Sleep Apnea

Health risks of sleep apnea include irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. In addition, daytime sleepiness can cause lost productivity, crashes and other incidents.

Treatment of Sleep Apnea

  • Nasal CPAP: continuous positive airway pressure is delivered through a mask attached over the nose to keep the airway open. This prevents apnea and frequent awakenings.
  • Weight Loss: even a small loss may make a difference in airway obstruction and reduce CPAP requirements.
  • Dental Appliances: used to keep the tongue from obstructing the airway during sleep by moving the jaw forward.
  • Medication: used to stimulate breathing in Central Sleep Apnea.
  • Surgery: performed to widen the airway or create an opening in the windpipe.