Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is characterized by episodes of complete or partial upper airway obstruction during sleep.
The symptoms often include loud snoring or gasping during sleep, unrefreshing sleep or daytime somnolence. It is often associated with obesity, a small jaw or enlarged tongue. Complications of untreated sleep apnea include, increased risk of death, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, motor vehicle accidents, diabetes, headaches, erectile dysfunction, inability to concentrate and poor memory.
Diagnosis is usually established during a history and physical examination and by performing a sleep study. The majority of our sleep studies are done in the comfort of your home.
Even severe sleep apnea is usually completely reversible with the use of CPAP therapy (continuous positive airway pressure). CPAP consists of a nasal or face mask attached by a hose to a small positive pressure system. The requirement for the use of CPAP can also be determined at home. Weight loss is beneficial and enhanced by the use of CPAP. In less severe sleep apnea, weight loss associated with positional therapy or an oral appliance may be adequate.
Newer innovations for the treatment of sleep apnea, as well as treatment for a variety of other sleep disorders such as insomnia and narcolepsy are available from our physicians.