Sleep apnea is characterized by repeated episodes of stopped breathing during asleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type. It is due to collapse of the upper airway and is often associated with snoring.
Each episode causes an arousal from sleep, which can happen hundreds of times a night without the patient knowing it.
Sleep apnea can reduce the blood oxygen level and make the heart work much harder.
Sleep apnea also increases the risk of:
- Abnormal heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation (Afib)
- Heart attack
Signs of sleep apnea include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mental fog
- Morning headaches
- Increased blood pressure
- Hyperactivity (in children)
Treatment options for sleep apnea include CPAP, with detailed attention to mask fitting and comfort, as well as oral appliances, surgery and other alternatives.
To see a sleep specialist, contact your physician and ask for a referral to OSF Sleep.
Once we have received the referral, we will contact you to schedule an appointment.