Sleep Apnea in Tuscaloosa

Sleep apnea, also known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious condition in which there is a repetitive slowing or stopping of breathing during the night. These episodes can happen hundreds of time during the night, which can lead to poor quality of sleep and fatigue during the day. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in more serious issues, including stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, liver problems, depression, and heart disease.

Symptoms associated with sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Periods of not breathing during the night
  • Gasping following period of not breathing
  • Feeling tired or irritable during the day
  • Headaches
  • Forgetfulness or trouble focusing

Who Is at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can affect children of adults, and often occurs in those who have a history of sleep apnea, have a thicker neck circumference, are overweight, have a heart disorder, have a narrower airway, or use narcotic pain medications.

How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

Sleep apnea is diagnosed through an overnight sleep study called a polysomnogram. If one of our ENT physicians suspect that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, we will refer you to a reliable sleep center within the area. The sleep study will produce detailed information that can help your physician properly diagnose the severity of your sleep apnea, as well as create a treatment plan for you.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Obstructive sleep apnea is commonly treated with the use of a device called a CPAP. A CPAP opens the airways with a small amount of air pressure through a nasal mask that is worn during sleep. If patients keep the nasal mask on throughout the night, most all patients notice a significant improvement in their quality of sleep and life.  In some cases, surgery may be required. Nasal surgery, upper throat surgery, or lower throat surgery can be conducted to help treat the causes of sleep apnea.

Despite which treatment is chosen for sleep apnea, patients should understand that sleep apnea is a very serious condition that needs to be treated. If you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea, please contact Tuscaloosa ENT as soon as possible so that our physicians can provide relief from your symptoms.

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