Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Obstruction to breathing while sleeping is common, and may be associated with snoring. Snoring may be a sign of a more serious problem called obstructive sleep apnea, when oxygen levels fall during sleep. The most common cause of snoring and sleep apnea in children is enlarged adenoids, tonsils or both. In adults, obstruction leading to snoring and sleep apnea may be caused by blockage in the nose or throat.
How do I Know if I have Sleep Apnea?
Diagnosis of the cause of snoring and sleep apnea relies on a thorough history and complete examination of the upper airway. A sleep study is often necessary to measure breathing patterns during sleep. Our office on Long Island offers a sleep test which can be performed at home, is FDA and Medicare approved, and avoids the inconvenience of spending a night in a sleep lab.
Outside of snoring, what are the most common symptoms of sleep apnea?
The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are:
- Gasping for air while sleeping
- Daytime lethargy
- Morning headaches
Are there different forms of sleep apnea?
There are two forms of sleep apnea. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea, which results from partial or complete airway obstruction while sleeping. The less common form is central sleep apnea, when the brain does not transmit the signal for breathing while sleeping, and is usually associated with neurologic conditions.
How dangerous is obstructive sleep apnea?
The danger of obstructive sleep apnea is correlated with the severity of sleep apnea, and underlying medical conditions. Sleep apnea results in decreased blood oxygenation, thereby forcing the heart to work harder in delivering oxygenated blood to the brain. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk for cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack, and stroke.
Can my sleep apnea be eliminated by surgery?
In some cases, obstructive sleep apnea may be improved or eliminated with surgery.
What is the difference between sleep apnea and snoring?
Snoring is a partial obstruction of the airway while sleeping, with minimal effect on oxygenation. Obstructive sleep apnea is a complete obstruction of the airway while sleeping, resulting in decreased oxygen levels.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Treatment of sleep apnea is directed at alleviating or bypassing upper airway obstruction. Solutions range from lifestyle modification such as weight loss and avoidance of alcohol or sedatives, use of a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP) to maintain a patent airway, and surgical procedures directed at enlarging the upper airway.
Sleep apnea and snoring may also be treated non-invasively by using an oral appliance. Oral appliances are devices that are inserted in the mouth to prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat during sleep, keeping the airway open. Oral appliances are custom-made and fitted to each patient. If an oral appliance is recommended, an appointment will be scheduled for a fitting with our dentist, who specializes in the treatment of sleep apnea.
Snoring without significant sleep apnea may improve with lifestyle modification or medical treatment to reduce nighttime nasal congestion. Dr. Werber and Dr. Haunss also offer the Pillar® Procedure, a simple, minimally invasive procedure that is clinically proven to effectively treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea often do not know that they suffer from a sleeping disorder, and believe that their symptoms of daytime sleepiness, snoring and difficulty falling asleep are normal. It is important for these patients to seek care for their condition and undergo testing to receive a proper diagnosis of sleep apnea. While many practices perform sleep apnea testing through a sleep study performed in an unfamiliar facility, Dr. Werber and Dr. Haunss offer a much more convenient diagnostic option at our Long Island office.
A home sleep study is performed in the comfort of your home with the help of a monitoring device that can detect sleep related breathing disorders like sleep apnea. Any breathing disruptions are detected through this noninvasive test. This easy-to-use test produces reliable results through automated data analysis that determines an accurate diagnosis and treatment assessment for sleep apnea.
Patients wear a simple monitoring device. The data is transferred to our doctor’s computer during your next appointment through a USB port. There is no risk associated with this testing, and patients will benefit from a highly reliable and accurate diagnosis. Our doctors and staff will provide you with specific instructions or answer any questions you may have prior to using the home sleep study.