Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea

Irregularities of the nose, mouth, throat, and larynx can cause a blockage in your upper airway during sleep. This causes irregular flow of air to the rest of your body. Frequently these blockages will be located in several locations. But regardless of the location, when your airway is blocked, the result can be snoring, sleep disorders, and sleep apnea.

Warning signs that you may have sleep apnea daytime fatigue, morning headaches, restless sleep, waking up frequently, gasping for air, or seeming to hold your breath during sleep. You may notice some of the signs yourself, or your bedroom partner may bring them to your attention. But failure to address these symptoms can be dangerous. It can impair your ability to drive or work with machinery. It can also have a negative impact on your efficiency at work and in your personal life. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and seizures.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

Dr. Nass will take a detailed medical history and perform a complete head and neck examination to see if your airways are blocked. If you do have obstructions, Dr. Nass will determine their severity and order a sleep study to get the most accurate and objective picture of the problem. This will also help determine the best type of therapy for your condition.

What is a sleep study?

A sleep study is done overnight, usually in your own home.  Your vital signs, heart function (EKG), blood oxygen levels, number and length of abnormal breathing episodes (hypopneas and apneas), snoring, and abnormal leg movements will be constantly monitored while you sleep. Occasionally, if the results are inconclusive, you may need to stay overnight in a sleep lab and repeat the procedure.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Once Dr. Nass has made a conclusive diagnosis is conclusive and determined the severity of the problem and abnormalities, he will discuss a treatment plan that is best for you. It might include weight loss, different sleeping positions, dental appliances, breathing machines (C-PAP), or surgery. The type of treatment will depend entirely on the specific nature of your sleep apnea.

Blocked airway in sleep apnea
Blocked airway in sleep apnea