Sleep apnea affects 9% of women and 24% of men aged 30-60 years. Michael Jaindl, MD, at South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat in Lehigh Acres, Florida, is dedicated to testing for sleep apnea so you can prevent serious complications. Sleep apnea that goes untreated puts you at risk of problems such as high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, and stroke. If you’re concerned you may have sleep apnea, call the office today.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your breathing stops while you sleep. These apnea episodes happen repeatedly, ranging from 5-15 times per hour in mild cases of sleep apnea and occurring as often as 30 times or more every hour in severe cases.
Your breathing stops when the soft tissues in your mouth and surrounding your throat briefly block the airway at the back of your throat. When you sleep, these soft tissues, such as your tongue, relax and naturally move toward the back of your mouth.
If the tissues partially block the airway, they start to vibrate and cause snoring. When they completely block your airway, your breathing stops, causing an immediate drop in oxygen levels in your blood. Your brain immediately reacts to low oxygen and wakes you just enough for you to breathe again.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes symptoms such as:
You may also make frequent trips to the bathroom during the night. Most patients with sleep apnea aren’t aware of their snoring. Instead, their partner or others in the household complain about loud snoring. Housemates may also notice a cycle of loud snoring, sudden silence when you stop breathing, then a noise or gasp when you start breathing again.
The only way to diagnose sleep apnea is with a sleep study. The team at South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat offers home sleep testing so you can stay in the comfort of your own bed.
During the test, you wear a finger sensor, elastic band around your chest, and nasal cannulas in each nostril. While you sleep, this equipment measures your oxygen levels, breathing, and airflow, sending the information to a small recording device.
The team at South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat downloads the information and evaluates the results. With the data, your doctor can determine if you have sleep apnea and the number of times you stop sleeping each hour. If your test is positive, the team at South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat refers you to a trusted specialist for treatment.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, call South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat today.