Sleep Medicine located in San Antonio, TX & Houston, TX
Around 22 million Americans have sleep apnea and suffer from disrupted respiration and sleep. Academy Diagnostics in San Antonio and Houston, Texas, provides expert diagnosis of sleep apnea, including sleep studies, as well as customized treatments to help you breathe and sleep through the night. If you’re concerned about sleep apnea, call the location nearest you or schedule a consultation online today.
Sleep Apnea Q & A
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that temporarily stops your breathing while you sleep, causing you to snore and gasp for breath, which wakes you up, perhaps not fully, but just awake enough to restore normal breathing.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when your soft palate and other soft tissue at the back of your mouth relax into your throat and block your airways while you sleep.
Central sleep apnea is due to neurological dysfunction, and complex sleep apnea includes both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Snoring is the most common sign of OSA. However, not everyone who snores has the condition. Other warning signs of OSA include:
- Gasping for breath while you sleep
- Waking up with dry mouth and/or headaches
- Trouble staying asleep
- Daytime sleepiness
- Reduced concentration and memory
If any of these symptoms sound familiar or if your partner mentions that you stop breathing while you sleep, make an appointment at Academy Diagnostics.
What are the causes of sleep apnea?
The exact cause of sleep apnea isn’t fully understood. However, some of the risk factors for the condition include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a neck measurement of 17 inches or more
- Using alcohol or sedatives
- Having an abnormal jaw or upper airway shape
- Having unmanaged high blood pressure
Men are more likely than women to develop sleep apnea, and your risk also increases with age.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
The team at Academy Diagnostics begins with a physical exam to check for signs of health conditions and physical attributes that could cause sleep apnea.
Your physician reviews your medical history, lifestyle, and sleep habits. They ask about your perceived daytime sleepiness and other symptoms.
The practice also offers at-home and in-clinic sleep studies to identify sleep apnea. Some of the common sleep studies include:
- Multiple sleep latency test
- Maintenance of wakefulness test
Your physician might also order an electroencephalogram (EEG) to assess your brain activity if they suspect central sleep apnea.
How is sleep apnea treated?
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), including bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) and variable positive airway pressure (VPAP), is the most common treatment for sleep apnea.
You sleep with a small mask over your nose that’s connected to a machine that provides a steady, gentle stream of oxygen. This helps your airways stay open and ensures that your body gets the oxygen it needs.
Other sleep apnea treatments include oral appliances to hold your jaw in a specific position, dental procedures, and nasal valves. Your physician might also recommend weight loss and, in severe cases, surgery.
Call Academy Diagnostics or make an appointment online today if you’re concerned about sleep apnea.