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pulmonary-consultants-sleep-apneaSleep apnea is a common but potentially serious disorder in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly while sleeping. The right treatment substantially improves sleep quality and oxygen intake during sleep.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include excessive snoring, gasping for air during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty focusing, waking up with a dry mouth and morning headaches. Risk factors include being middle-aged or older, smoking, being overweight, alcohol consumption, having a narrow airway and underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or Parkinson’s disease.

The team at Pulmonary Consultants of San Antonio diagnoses sleep apnea with home sleep studies using equipment that patients use at home. The devices collect data while a patient sleeps to identify the presence of sleep apnea.

Treatment depends on the type and severity of symptoms. Many patients benefit from continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a custom oral appliance, or supplemental oxygen.

Questions & Answers

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition that causes you to stop and start breathing at various times throughout the night.

At Pulmonary Consultants of San Antonio, the team specializes in the treatment of several types of sleep apnea, including:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
OSA occurs when the soft tissues at the back of your mouth relax during sleep. The tissues can block your airways, causing you to wake up gasping for air.

Central sleep apnea
Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain stops communicating with the muscles that help you breathe.

Complex sleep apnea
Complex sleep apnea features characteristics of both OSA and central sleep apnea.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Morning headaches
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability

If you have sleep apnea, you might also find it difficult to focus when you’re at school or work.

Who is at risk of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea affects people of all ages, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Being middle-aged or older
  • Weight issues
  • Smoking
  • Nasal congestion
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Having a narrow airway

You’re also more likely to experience sleep apnea if you have an underlying medical condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, or Parkinson’s disease.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

At Pulmonary Consultants of San Antonio, the team diagnoses sleep apnea through the use of home sleep units and home sleep studies.

Home sleep unit
A home sleep unit is an electronic device that monitors your respiratory rate and oxygen levels during sleep. The data that a home sleep unit collects isn’t as comprehensive as the data provided by a home sleep study. Even so, it can help your provider determine the type of sleep apnea you have.

Home sleep study
During a home sleep study, you wear a belt, a nasal cannula, and a pulse oximeter. Each of these devices hooks up to a computerized device that measures your airflow, respiratory effort, and blood oxygen saturation.

Following a home sleep study, you return to Pulmonary Consultants of San Antonio. Your provider downloads the data, analyzes it, and makes a diagnosis.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Treatment of sleep apnea depends on the type you have and the severity of your symptoms. Usually, the team at Pulmonary Consultants of San Antonio recommends healthy lifestyle changes, like maintaining your ideal weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol before bed.

If these steps don’t make a difference, you might benefit from continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a custom oral appliance, or supplemental oxygen. The goal of treatment is to enhance your breathing and help you sleep soundly.

To explore the various treatments for sleep apnea, make an appointment at Pulmonary Consultants of San Antonio by calling the office or clicking the online booking feature today.

The team at Pulmonary Consultants of San Antonio includes board-certified sleep disorder specialists who provide comprehensive care for sleep apnea, from testing to diagnosis to customized treatment plans.

Click here to request an appointment or call us at 210-692-0361.

10007 Huebner Road, Bldg 4
San Antonio, TX 78240
FAX: 210-692-0151

Monday: 8am-4:30pm
Tuesday: 8am-4:30pm
Wednesday: 8am-4:30pm
Thursday: 8am-4:30pm
Friday: 8am-4:30pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed