Do you think you have Sleep Apnea?
Take a moment and ask yourself these questions:
- Do you snore?
- Are you excessively tired during the day?
- Have you been told you stop breathing during your sleep?
- Do you have a history of hypertension?
- Does your neck measure > 17 inches (male) or >16 inches (female)?
If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you have a positive screening for Sleep Apnea. To be certain
please contact Pulmonary Consultants of Southwest Florida to schedule an appointment.
Approximately 30 million Americans are victims of a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Apnea is a Greek word meaning, “without breath.” Those suffering from sleep apnea will literally stop breathing in their sleep. This can happen often hundreds of time throughout the same night!
How does it occur?
During normal sleep, throat muscles relax. If the throat is crowded, the ariway collapses during sleep. Airflow stops and the blood oxygen level drops, which causes the brain to wake up.
If you have sleep apnea, this cycle may repeat hundreds of times during the night while you have no idea it is happening.
- Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Fatigue and tiredness during the day
- Loud snoring
- Waking up with choking or gasping
- Not feeling rested in the morning or satisfied with a night’s sleep
- A strong desire to take a daily afternoon nap
- Unexplained accidents or errors
- Morning headaches
Other common characteristics of Sleep Apnea
- Small jaw, thick neck
- High blood pressure
- Restless sleep the repeated struggle to breathe can be associated with a great deal of movement
- Depressed mood and/or irritability
- Reduced sex drive and impotence
- Snoring, gasping, choking during sleep
How serious is Sleep Apnea?
At Pulmonary Consultants of Southwest Florida we take this condition seriously as sleep Apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition. Undiagnosed severe sleep apnea can cause irregular heartbeats, unstable high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, cardiac arrest during sleep, or a harmful accident.
Increased daytime sleepiness poses a serious risk of automobile accidents, impaired functioning in the workplace and in personal relationships.
Untreated sleep apnea tends to progressively worsen and can cause partial or complete disability and death.
How is it diagnosed?
After an initial consultation with Pulmonary Consultants of Southwest Florida, an overnight sleep study, called polysomnography, will be done to diagnose sleep apnea. The sleep study will measure your heart rate, brain waves, chest movement, air flow and blood oxygen levels while you sleep. At Pulmonary Consultants of Southwest Florida you will sleep comfortably on a tempurpedic mattress, in a hotel setting versus a cold, stark medical setting. Our goal is to make our patients comfortable. If you have special needs we will work with you to accommodate them and ensure a safe and relaxing environment for you.
Other sleep disorders that cause unrestful sleep may be detected with a sleep study as well. Our testing involves no pain and is covered by most insurance.
How is sleep apnea treated?
At Pulmonary Consultants of Southwest Florida our number one goal is to treat sleep apnea so our patients can get back to enjoying the life they once had prior to their sleep deprivation. The most commonly prescribed treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
A CPAP machine delivers air pressure through a small mask that the patient wears while sleeping. The pressure acts as an “air splint” which keeps the throat open, eliminating obstructive apneas.
Sleep becomes uninterrupted and restorative, and dramatically improves daytime functioning as well as general health.
Sleep apnea can also be treated surgically; however, the success rates vary greatly.
Our Respiratory Therapist also performs scheduled mask fits and machine checks to ensure our patient’s comfort and compliance. We also strive to help patients that are having problems adjusting to the transition of wearing their CPAP.