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Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that results in disrupted breathing while sleeping. Because this condition can potentially be dangerous, Song C. Chon, MD and Abbas Omais, MD of the Lung & Sleep Institute in White Plains, Maryland, can help you get treatment. If you’re waking up feeling groggy, snoring loudly, or otherwise experiencing signs of disrupted sleep, schedule an evaluation today. Book your sleep apnea appointment through the online scheduling system, or call the clinic.
Having sleep apnea means that your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you sleep. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when your throat muscles relax. If you have central sleep apnea, it means that your brain isn’t sending the proper signals to muscles that control your breathing.
Some sleep apnea sufferers have both obstructive and central sleep apnea, a condition known as complex sleep apnea syndrome. It’s even reasonable to experience periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) if you have sleep apnea. PLMD leads to repetitive limb movements that further disrupt your sleep.
If you have sleep apnea, you might wake yourself — or your partner — up by snoring loudly. It’s also natural to experience:
Sleep apnea can range in severity, from mild to severe. Because it can lower your quality of life in any case, it’s important to seek treatment at the first sign.
Your treatment plan at the Lung & Sleep Institute depends on which type of sleep apnea you have, as well as your overall health. Many sleep apnea sufferers benefit from losing weight and quitting smoking. If you have nasal allergies, starting an allergy treatment can often resolve sleep apnea issues.
Dr. Chon and Dr. Omais commonly recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This apparatus requires you to wear a mask over your nose while sleeping. It gently pushes air through your airway passages, which helps keep them open.
The expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP) system is an alternative that requires you to place small valves over each nostril before sleeping. While you can inhale as usual, when you exhale, air comes out slower. This system increases pressure on your airways, forcing them to stay open.
You could even find relief by wearing a custom-designed oral appliance that helps shift your lower jaw forward. This device can minimize issues with snoring and breathing disruptions since it helps keep your throat open.
If these conservative types of treatments don’t work, you might need surgery. During sleep apnea surgery, Dr. Chon and Dr. Omais can reposition your jaw, remove tissue from the rear of your mouth and throat (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty), or create a new airway (tracheostomy).
Schedule a sleep apnea evaluation at the Lung & Sleep Institute either online or over the phone.