Sleep Center

Jeffrey Kramer, MD, FAHA, Medical Director

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Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that affects the way you breathe while sleeping. This disorder causes your breathing to pause in 15 - 20 second intervals or longer and can occur hundreds of times each night. When your breathing pauses, it will then snap you out of a deep sleep disrupting your normal sleep pattern. Because of this, you will not be getting the restorative deep sleep your body requires. This in turn could affect your health, as well as your productiveness and energy levels throughout the day.

The Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Loud snoring
  • Choking
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • 15-20 second pauses in your breathing while you sleep
  • Extreme tiredness no matter how much perceived sleep you get
  • If you continually wake up with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability or feeling moody
  • Depression
  • If you have a hard time concentrating or if you are often forgetful
  • Restless sleep patterns
  • Frequent nighttime bathroom visits

If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to call your doctor immediately to schedule an appointment, because sleep apnea can become a serious disorder if left untreated. Sleep apnea can happen to anyone regardless of their age. However, there are several types of sleep apnea you need to become familiar with - obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Below we will talk about the risk factors of each. The Risk Factors of Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

  • Smokers
  • Males over the age of 65
  • Obese
  • Black, Hispanic or Pacific Islander
  • Thick neck
  • Deviated septum
  • Receding chin
  • Enlarged nostrils
  • Enlarged adenoids
  • Allergies
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nasal blockage

Central Sleep Apnea:

  • People over the age of 65
  • Serious illnesses - heart disease, neurological diseases, spinal injuries, etc.

Once you have a confirmed case, there are several things you can do at home, as well as, certain medical treatments you could obtain to help alleviate your symptoms.

How To Treat Sleep Apnea

Talk to your doctor about what he or she recommends for your specific case of sleep apnea. There are many different ways to treat your condition and your doctor will be your best resource in helping you get the relief you need. Sleep apnea can turn into a serious medical condition if left untreated. Patients with sleep apnea have increased incidence of stoke and poorly controlled blood pressure. Therefore, if you have been experiencing any symptoms of sleep apnea, you should seek treatment immediately.