During sleep apnea, your breathing is interrupted repeatedly. It is a very common condition and often the cause of snoring. Sleep apnea is serious and can have short-term and long-term effects on your health and quality of life.
Patients often seek medical help because they are very tired, even if they sleep through the night. Sometimes they visit a doctor because a partner reports that they snore excessively. Whatever the reason, you should seek treatment from a specialist to diagnose and treat the condition.
Sleep Apnea: Why Choose Memorial Healthcare System?
At Memorial Healthcare System, patients seeking treatment for sleep apnea will find:
- Experienced physicians: Our team includes highly skilled, board-certified physicians who have decades of experience and specialize in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea.
- Certified Sleep Medicine Center: Our Sleep Medicine Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The designation demonstrates our proven commitment to high-quality care of patients with sleep disorders. We also offer home sleep studies for qualified patients.
- Gold-standard diagnostic tools: Our specialists use advanced polysomnography (sleep study) technology and evidence-based questionnaires to identify sleep apnea and assess its severity.
- The right CPAP fit: We ensure that each patient has equipment that fits properly and is as comfortable as possible. This helps patients adhere to treatment and achieve optimal outcomes.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
If you have sleep apnea, your breathing is interrupted repeatedly — for 10 seconds or longer —as you sleep. Symptoms may include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Lack of concentration
- High blood pressure
- Heart conditions and stroke
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are two types of sleep apnea. Although they may have similar symptoms, they have different causes and may require different treatments. Our certified specialists have extensive experience diagnosing and treating both:
- Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, reducing or stopping the flow of air.
- Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the body to control breathing during sleep.
Sleep Study to Diagnose the Cause of Snoring
If your physician suspects you have sleep apnea, you will participate in a sleep study, also known as polysomnography. This is a painless overnight test we use to diagnose the cause and severity of certain sleep disorders.
Sleep technicians at our Sleep Medicine Center attach sensors to your body. While you sleep, they measure brain waves, heart rate and oxygen levels among other things.
Learn more about the sleep studies we perform at our certified Sleep Medicine Center.
CPAP Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is usually treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The CPAP is connected to a mask you wear over your nose and mouth, while you sleep, that sends air into the nasal passages to keep the airway open.
If used correctly, the CPAP will help you sleep and breathe much better, which should help you feel more well-rested and energized.
However, many patients stop using their CPAP machines because the mask is uncomfortable. In this case, our specialists will spend time helping you find the right fit.
During your appointment, you can visit the Sleep Medicine Center to adjust your mask or try on different masks for maximum comfort. We can schedule “pap naps” so you can test drive new equipment. You can also get tips on maintaining and cleaning your equipment.
Other Interventions for Sleep Apnea
For certain patients, we offer alternative treatment options, including oral appliances. Oral appliances are custom-made plastic molds that fit over your upper and lower teeth. They have metal hinges for movement and help keep the jaw and tongue in proper position.
Our team also provides essential education and support to help you:
- Practice good sleep habits, also known as “sleep hygiene”
- Lose weight to help cure sleep apnea
- Quit smoking to reduce the severity of sleep apnea
To make an appointment, call 954-276-1925.