Waking up frequently during the night or feeling excessively sleepy during the day are signs that you may have a serious sleeping disorder known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea expert Cecil Yeung, MD And his team of Houston Sinus Surgery, can help prevent your condition from creating complications such as depression and heart disease.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has sleep apnea and you live in the Houston area, call at the friendly staff at Houston Sinus Surgery. You can also book your appointment online.
Sleep Apnea Q & A
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder that causes you to stop breathing while you sleep. The pauses, referred to as apneas, may last just a few seconds but can extend for minutes. The apneas deprive your body of oxygen and prevent you from getting fully restorative sleep. You may have as many as 30 apneas in an hour.
There are two types of sleep apnea:
Your airway collapses or soft tissue blocks the flow of air. Snoring is a frequent symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. This is the most common type and often affects men and women who are overweight.
Your brain fails to send signals to your respiratory muscles that prompt them to breathe. Certain medications may cause or contribute to this rare form.
What are some sleep apnea symptoms?
Sleep apnea has both physical and behavioral symptoms, including:
- Loud snoring
- Gagging or choking that awakens you
- Insomnia or restless sleep
- Dry or a sore throat upon waking
- Morning headaches
- Daytime sleepiness
- Memory loss and trouble focusing
- Mood changes and irritability
Are there risk factors for sleep apnea?
Aging increases the risk for sleep apnea, but even children can develop it. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs most often in men, women, and children who are overweight or who have physical characteristics that impede airflows, such as a large tongue, deviated septum, or recessed chin.
How do doctors treat sleep apnea?
If your sleep apnea is severe or doesn’t respond to lifestyle adjustments, such as losing weight, Dr. Yeung may recommend:
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or automatic positive airway pressure (APAP): a mask that keeps your airway open with a constant stream of pressurized air
- Oral appliance therapy (OAT): a custom-made device that shifts your jaw forward and stabilizes your tongue to prevent airway obstruction
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): surgery to remove excess throat tissue
- Septoplasty: to correct a deviated septum
- Tonsillectomy: to remove overly large tonsils
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that may have grave consequences if you don’t treat it. Excessive sleepiness increases your risk for attention-related accidents, such as car crashes, and untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke.