2203 45th Street, Suite B Highland, IN 46322
(219) 836-4820
By Center For Otolaryngology & Facial Plastic Surgery - Highland
February 02, 2016
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: sleep apnea  

Does your sleep partner complain of your loud snoring? Do you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night out of breath? These could be signs of a serious condition called sleep apnea. If left untreated, sleep apnea can be life threatening, however, with help from your Highland, IN ear, nose and throat doctor we can help treat this condition.Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea? 
Sleep apnea occurs when breathing starts and stops during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea: the most common, obtrusive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obtrusive sleep apnea occurs when a blockage of the airway prevents air from reaching the lungs. Central sleep apnea takes place when the brain’s signals to the breathing muscles malfunction. When someone has both obstructive and central sleep apnea, it is known as complex sleep apnea.

How do I know if I have sleep apnea? 
Often, the effects of sleep apnea are noticed by the sufferer’s sleep partner first. Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • excessive snoring
  • gasping or choking during sleep
  • morning headaches
  • pauses in breathing during sleep
  • daytime sleepiness
  • waking suddenly with shortness of breath
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • problems focusing while awake

Men are more at risk for sleep apnea than women. Obesity, genetics, use of alcohol and tobacco, old age and a narrow airway also put patients at risk for sleep apnea. If you believe you are suffering from sleep apnea, you should see your Highland, IN ear, nose and throat doctor as soon as possible.

How is sleep apnea treated? 
There is no single test to confirm sleep apnea. However, sleep tests allow your doctor to monitor your symptoms and make a diagnosis. Treatment for sleep apnea usually starts with lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking or losing weight. Sometimes, something as minimal as changing sleeping positions helps relieve symptoms. Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP machines, regulate airflow through your airway to keep it from collapsing and causing an apnea. A mask worn over the nose and mouth sends a gentle flow of air into the airway, keeping it open and allowing normal breathing. Another treatment option is a dental device to align the muscles and jaw to keep the throat open. In the most severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery to remove excess tissue, reposition the jaw or create a new airway is necessary.

For more information on sleep apnea, please contact your doctor at the Center for Otolaryngology & Facial Plastic Surgery in Highland, IN. Call (219) 836-4820 to schedule your appointment today.


2203 45th Street, Suite B
Highland, IN 46322