Below you will find information on Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), as provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. For more information, visit www.aasmnet.org.
What is Sleep Apnea?
A Common sleep disorder where there is airway collapse including part or all of the airway while you are sleeping. The most frequent cause of airway obstruction involves gravity causing the tongue to fall back during sleep. The narrowed airway causes snoring by making the tissue in the back of the throat vibrate. Apnea or lack of breath occurs when the airway is completely closed. Repeated airway collapse during sleep causes a decrease in oxygen to the lungs. This in turn causes a decrease in the oxygen to the other vital organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys, liver, etc. Repeated episodes have negative consequences on your health.
Who is at Risk?
- High Blood Pressure
- Increased neck size- Men >17 inches and Women >16 inches
- Men over age of 40
- Women over age 50
- Patients with heart disease
How Can I be Evaluated for Sleep Apnea?
The process begins with a sleep evaluation performed by our Board Certified Sleep Physicians or by our Nurse Practitioner trained in Sleep Medicine.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
- PAP (Positive Airway Pressure) therapy
- Weight loss may improve or eliminate your sleep apnea.
- Oral appliance may also be used to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea.
- Surgical tissue reduction of the throat by an ENT Specialist may also be considered in select cases of sleep apnea.
CPAP is an acronym for continuous positive airway pressure. This therapy works by delivering a prescribed amount of pressurized air to keep your airway from narrowing or closing as you sleep. This prescribed pressure is determined by your sleep specialists’ interpretation of your titration study.
Who Needs CPAP therapy?
Patients who have a diagnostic sleep study showing repeated apneic periods lasting 10 seconds or longer as they sleep. The value representing these events is called the AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index). The higher this number, the more severe the sleep disorder.
Will I Do Well with CPAP Therapy?
The majority of patients that are prescribed CPAP therapy do very well. We attribute this success to the support provided by the team approach of the sleep center, your sleep specialist and your medical equipment company(DME). Some patients experience challenges upon initiation of therapy but with diligence, commitment and open communication, these challenges can be overcome.
How Do I Get Help if I Have Problems with CPAP Therapy?
Resources would include first your medical equipment(DME) company, then your sleep specialist and finally the sleep center where you were tested.