What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a disorder in which normal breathing is interrupted during sleep due to the blockage of airflow in the upper airway breathing passages. Most commonly sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of throat relax as we enter our more restful deep stages of sleep (Stage 3) or our dream state (REM) sleep.
Dr. Monica Tadros in center for snoring surgery specializes in sleep apnea treatments in Englewood, NJ & NYC. Obstructive Sleep Apnea affects approximately 18 million adults in the United States.
Dr. Tadros accepts most POS and PPO insurances for any medical issues related to the nose as an out of network provider. Please contact us today or call NYC: (212) 532-4590 or NJ: (201) 408-5430.
Sleep Apnea In Depth
by Monica Tadros, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Blockage of airflow during sleep apnea causes prolonged hypoxia (low levels of oxygen) in the blood. As the concentration of carbon dioxide builds up in the bloodstream, the brain finally overrides the lapse in breathing, forcing the patient into a lighter stage of sleep (stage 1 or 2) to reposition and resume breathing. Since obstructive occurs in the deep stages of sleep, it is unrecognized by the individual who never fully wakes up.
Extreme fatigue and unrestful sleep result from sleep apnea because the patient fails to enter the restorative stage 3 deep sleep. A sleep study called a polysomnogram is important to evaluate all sleep disordered breathing.
Positional statistics can help differentiate different areas of obstruction and causes of sleep disorder. This testing will also help differentiate OSA from the less common neurologic condition called central sleep apnea, in which the brain fails to initiate or control breathing during sleep.
Dr. Monica Tadros is a best-rated expert in treating sleep apnea and can restore your sleep and correct these conditions in our office.
How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea treated?
Many factors contribute to obstructive sleep apnea and a thorough evaluation sleep apnea doctor requires a sleep disorder study and comprehensive airway examination that highlights: nasal obstruction (deviated nasal septum/turbinate overgrowth) tonsil enlargement soft palate laxity and uvula enlargement oropharyngeal tissue hypertrophy (overgrowth) tongue enlargement (macroglossia) and hyoid bone position epiglottis position.
Primary treatment includes a trial of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) appliance during sleep and goal-directed weight loss. Adjunct sleep apnea related procedures may include an oral dental appliance or nasal surgery to decrease airway pressures and improve CPAP comfort and compliance.
Some sleep apnea patients cannot tolerate or comply with CPAP and should be evaluated by an ENT surgery specialist. Depending on the severity of sleep disorders, and the associated pathology a number of procedures may open the airway, improve snoring, and diminish apneic events. A variety of sleep apnea procedures can be used to tailor a sleeping disorder treatment regimen.
Why is the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) important?
OSA causes persistently low levels of oxygen in the blood for a significant portion of the night. This sleep apnea forces the body to work hard to pump blood in order to oxygenate the brain and organ and leads to one of the most unrecognized causes of silent hypertension.
Over many years, the sleep disorder can lead to uncontrolled weight gain, heart disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diabetes and depression. Am I a candidate for a Sleep Apnea Evaluation? Schedule your consultation today.
Medical Conditions Associated with Sleep Apnea
When your sleep is disturbed by Snoring and Sleep Apnea, many problems can occur. Decreased blood flow to the brain and body can lead to:
- Heart Attack
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Memory Loss
- Daytime Sleepiness
- Lower Cognitive Ability
- Carotid Artery problems
Sleep Apnea FAQ
Sleep apnea is characterized by a pause in breathing during sleep usually lasting between 10 seconds and up to a minute. Below are some frequently asked questions about this sleep condition.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is when your breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. This may happen up to a hundred times throughout the night. It causes your brain to not get enough oxygen and your sleep to be disturbed.
What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?
Some warning signs of sleep apnea include snoring, daytime fatigue, morning headaches, and choking sounds during sleep. It is difficult to asses if you have sleep conditions on your own, but if you get a full night of sleep and still feel tired, that might be a warning sign. Your bed partner can also tell you if you snore, stop breathing at night, or gasp for air in your sleep.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can be caused by certain lifestyle or genetic factors. Things like excessive weight or a thicker neck may cause it because these things usually cause constricted airways. Smoking, nasal congestion, or simply family history may also be causes of sleep apnea.
What Are the Types of Sleep Apnea?
There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central sleep apnea. Obstructive is when the muscles in the back of your throat relax. When these muscles relax, your airways close preventing you from breathing. Usually, your brain notices that you are not getting enough air and wakes you up so you can begin breathing. This awakening is usually very short so you do not remember it.
Central sleep apnea is when your brain does not transmit the signal to your body to breathe. This means that you make no effort to breathe and your body soon wakes you up. This type of sleep disorder is less common.
What Are Sleep Apnea Side Effects?
The most common side effect of sleep apnea is not feeling well when you wake up. People are usually tired throughout the day, even if they got enough sleep. You may also experience headaches and a sore throat in the morning. If you have sleep apnea you usually wake up throughout the night, although for short enough periods that you do not remember, leaving you feeling tired in the morning.
How To Test For Sleep Apnea?
A nocturnal polysomnography can test for sleep apnea. For this test, you are hooked up to a machine while you sleep that tests your heart rate, lung and brain activity, movement, and breathing patterns. Your insurance should cover this test. Sometimes your doctor can provide you a home test that will measure your breathing levels and oxygen levels during your sleep.
Can You Die From Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is linked to other fatal diseases like heart disease and high blood pressure. It can increase your risk of sudden cardiac death. If you have sleep apnea you are also more likely to have a stroke, diabetes, and depression.
How Do You Treat Sleep Apnea?
The cure for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). A CPAP machine has a mask that you wear at night that gently blows air into your airways to keep them open while you sleep. Other treatment methods for OSA include weight loss or surgery.
Request your sleep apnea treatment consultation today with Dr. Monica Tadros. Please use the contact form to receive additional information or call NYC: (212) 532-4590 or NJ: (201) 408-5430.