Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder characterized by loud snoring and repeated episodes of complete or partial blockage of the upper airway, caused by the muscles of the throat relaxing during sleep. This blockage interrupts breathing during sleep, resulting in the “cessation of breathing” (apnea) and the brain quickly signals the muscles of the chest and diaphragm to open the airway. This sudden muscle reaction often causes the sleeping person to make loud gasping or snorting noises or jerk their bodies.
Commonly, the person with the syndrome does not notice the symptoms of sleep apnea, but rather a spouse, family member, or housemate, who observes or hears the person sleeping.
Fatigue or excessive sleepiness during the day
Struggle waking up in the morning
Gasping or choking while asleep
Restless sleep or night sweats
Difficulty concentrating, absent-mindedness or forgetfulness
Depression or irritability throughout the day
Dry mouth or sore throat throughout the night or when waking up
If you suspect that you may suffer from OSA, please contact the office (call Kamelhar-Teller Pulmonology) to schedule an evaluation.
After a physical examination and an assessment of your medical and sleep history, Dr. Teller will arrange for an overnight sleep study, known as polysomnogram (PSG). Depending on patient risk factors, insurance and symptoms, the sleep study may be done at home or in a sleep center. This test will record and analyze your breathing and body functions during sleep. The results from this test will allow Dr. Teller to diagnose and grade the severity of your sleep apnea and then prescribe treatment.
Decreased muscle tone of the upper airway
Obesity Family history of OSA
Other medical conditions that cause breathing obstruction
High blood pressure
Untreated moderate to severe sleep apnea can result in an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, elevated blood sugar and cancers. There is a higher rate of motor vehicle accidents in patients with untreated sleep apnea.
Physical & Sleep Modifications
Avoidance of alcohol and sedatives
Prescribed decongestants or nasal sprays
Proper sleep hygiene
Positional Therapy: the use of pillows or other devices to sleep in the side position
Machine & Dental Device Assistance
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP®)
Auto-PAP: mask worn over nose and/or mouth to force air into the airway during sleep
Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD): dental device worn during sleep to prevent the tongue from blocking the airway
Somnoplasty: a minimally invasive surgical procedure using radiofrequency to tighten the soft palate in the back of the throat.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP or UP3): a surgical procedure to remove soft tissue in the back of the throat and palate that increases the width of the airway at the throat opening.
Mandibular/maxillary advancement surgery (MMA): a surgical procedure moving the jawbone and face bones forward to open up the throat.