What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. The most common sleep apnea symptoms are loud snoring, sudden awakenings accompanied by a choking or gasping sound, excessive daytime sleepiness, and awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat.

Treatment options for sleep apnea may include a sleep apnea machine such as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, lifestyle changes, or in severe cases, sleep apnea surgery. A sleep apnea test, such as a polysomnogram or home sleep test, can help diagnose sleep apnea and determine the best course of treatment. Common sleep apnea causes include obesity, alcohol consumption, and smoking.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Woman falling asleep sitting on her desk at night at office

The most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Sudden awakenings accompanied by a choking or gasping sound
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Difficulty paying attention or staying alert during the day
  • Awakening with shortness of breath
  • Insomnia or difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Depression or irritability
  • Restless tossing and turning during sleep

It’s important to note that not everyone with sleep apnea will experience all of these symptoms, and some people may experience symptoms not listed here.

How We Diagnose Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is typically diagnosed through a sleep study, which can be performed in a sleep center or at home. The two main types of sleep studies used to diagnose sleep apnea are:

  • Polysomnogram (PSG): This is an overnight study that takes place in a sleep center. It measures brain activity, eye movement, heart rate, and breathing patterns while you sleep.
  • Home Sleep Test (HST): This test can be performed at home and involves wearing a portable monitoring device that records your breathing patterns, oxygen levels, and other sleep-related data.

In some cases, a doctor may also perform a physical examination, ask about your medical history and symptoms, and conduct a sleep questionnaire to diagnose sleep apnea. A referral to a sleep specialist may also be necessary for a definitive diagnosis.

Risks of Sleep Apnea

Man with high blood pressure

Sleep apnea can have a significant impact on physical and mental health. Some of the risks associated with untreated sleep apnea include:

  • High blood pressure: Sleep apnea can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Heart problems: Sleep apnea can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
  • Type2 diabetes: Sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of developing type2 diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome: Sleep apnea can increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
  • Cognitive impairment: Sleep apnea can impact cognitive function, including memory, attention, and decision-making.
  • Depression and anxiety: Sleep apnea can lead to depression and anxiety, and worsen the symptoms of existing mental health conditions.
  • Decreased quality of life: Sleep apnea can affect daily activities, relationships, and overall quality of life.
  • Accidents and injuries: Sleep apnea can increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents and workplace accidents, as it can impair reaction time and attention.

Treating sleep apnea can reduce these risks and improve overall health and well-being.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe.
  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): This type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome (CSAS): This type of sleep apnea, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Why Choose Indianapolis Sinus Center?

Indianapolis Sinus Center is a premier medical facility that specializes in the treatment of sleep apnea. Patients come to Indianapolis Sinus Center for sleep apnea treatment because of our commitment to providing expert, individualized care using the latest treatments and advanced technology. Our team of highly trained physicians and staff takes a holistic approach to treatment, addressing not only physical symptoms, but also the emotional and mental well-being of patients.

Contact Indianapolis Sinus Center

Indianapolis Sinus Center’s patient-centered approach, combined with our expertise and cutting-edge technology, make us the top choice for those seeking effective sleep apnea treatment. Contact us today to learn more.