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Sleep Apnea

Family Medical Doctors -  - Internal Medicine

Family Medical Doctors

Internal Medicine & Primary Care Practice located in New Port Richey, FL

Obstructive sleep apnea affects children and adults, putting them at risk of serious complications such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and heart arrhythmias. The board-certified team at Family Medical Doctors in Trinity, Florida, offers at-home sleep testing and individualized care for patients of all ages with sleep apnea. If your partner or housemate jokes about your loud snoring, or you notice snoring in your child, it’s time to have a sleep apnea evaluation. If you have questions about your symptoms, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What causes sleep apnea?

There are two types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. They have different causes, but in both types, your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you sleep. 

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

OSA commonly affects children and adults. This type of sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in your mouth and throat relax and move toward your throat.

As a result, the tissues cover your airway and briefly stop your breathing. Depending on the severity of your OSA, your breathing may stop 5-30 times or more every hour.

Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain stops sending signals to the muscles that control breathing. This type of sleep apnea is not common and typically occurs in people who have heart failure or had a stroke.

What are symptoms of sleep apnea?

The symptoms of both types of sleep apnea include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Fatigue during the day
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequently urinating during the night
  • Frequently waking and feeling short of breath

There’s one big difference in the symptoms of OSA and central sleep apnea. Loud snoring is the top symptom of OSA, while you may not snore at all or have mild snoring with central sleep apnea.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

Though your symptoms may strongly suggest sleep apnea, the only way to diagnose the condition is with a sleep study.

Most patients with sleep apnea can be diagnosed with a home sleep study, but sometimes may need a overnight study at a sleep center. Your provider shows you how to hook up the equipment and then while you sleep, sensors measure your breathing and oxygen levels in your blood.

How is sleep apnea treated?

To treat OSA, your provider at Family Medical Doctors may recommend lifestyle changes. For example, if you’re overweight, losing weight often stops OSA. You may also need continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment or an oral appliance.

Treatment for central sleep apnea begins by identifying and treating the underlying cause of your apnea. You may also need medications, supplemental oxygen, and CPAP or another ventilation device that supports your breathing while you sleep. 

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