Sleep Apnea

What are the signs and symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

If you, or someone you know, snores regularly and has one or more of the following symptoms, it may be Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

  • Snoring, interrupted by pauses in breathing
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Restless sleep
  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Large neck size (greater than 17 “ in men, or 16” in women)
  • Crowded airway
  • Morning headache
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Frequent urination at night
  • Poor judgment or difficulty with concentration
  • Irritability
  • Memory Loss
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Depression
  • Obesity

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

OSA is when a person stops breathing repeatedly during sleep. Breathing stops because the airway collapses and prevents air from getting into the lungs. Sleep patterns are disrupted, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue during the day. The “apnea” in sleep apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds. OSA occurs when the muscles in the back of the neck fail to keep the airway open, despite attempts to breathe. Another form of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea, in which the brain fails to control breathing during sleep. OSA is far more common than CSA.

OSA can cause fragmented sleep and low blood oxygen levels. For people with OSA, the combination of low blood oxygen levels and disturbed sleep can lead to hypertension, heart disease, and mood and memory problems. Untreated OSA also increases risk for automobile crashes.

How many people have OSA?

More than 18 million Americans suffer from OSA.

When left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea potentially puts patients at high risk for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease and heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Fatigue related motor vehicle accidents
  • Decreased quality of life

What should you do if you suspect you have OSA?

Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Have a sleep study done. A sleep study can provide your doctor with information about how you sleep and how you breathe while you are sleeping. This information will help your doctor to determine your diagnosis and treatment options.

Click here to view our patient forms.