Otolaryngology & Allergy Testing & Immunotherapy Clinic located in Mandeville, Hammond, & Slidell, LA
Obstructive sleep apnea makes you wake up gasping for air, disturbs your partner with snoring, and leaves you feeling unrested even after a full night of sleep. At SLENT in Slidell, Metairie, and Mandeville, Louisiana, expert otolaryngologist James Connolly, MD, evaluates your sleep quality, and if he determines you have sleep apnea, can provide solutions. Call one of the locations or schedule an appointment online to find relief from sleep disruption and avoid the complications of sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Q & A
What is sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes your airway to become blocked during sleep. Your tongue relaxes and falls to the back of the throat or the soft tissue of your palate and throat relax too much, creating a narrow or blocked airway.
The narrow opening causes louder, more virulent snoring as air vibrates against the tissue. And, when the airway closes off, you awaken momentarily because your body senses a lack of oxygen. When you have sleep apnea, you’re not always aware of these brief awakenings – but they do disrupt your natural sleep cycles.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea symptoms may be first noticed by your partner, who is disturbed by loud snoring. Other signs you may have sleep apnea include:
- Waking up choking or gasping
- Morning headaches
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Restless sleep
- Extraordinary fatigue
- Nocturia - waking up to urinate multiple times per night
If you suffer from these symptoms, call SLENT to find out how you can be screened for obstructive sleep apnea.
What is the process of getting evaluated for sleep apnea?
The practitioners at SLENT provide Home Sleep Testing, which allows men and women to screen for obstructive sleep apnea in their own homes. Dr. Connolly determines if a Home Sleep Test is appropriate or if you’d do better with an overnight, in-lab sleep study.
If a Home Sleep Test is recommended, you’re scheduled for a home sleep education appointment during which you’re shown how to properly use the testing equipment. The equipment will also be sized to you in an in-office appointment that lasts about 15 minutes.
The Home Sleep Test involves wearing a finger sensor, chest band, and/or nasal cannula to measure your pulse, blood oxygen levels, airflow, and respiratory effort. This information downloads to a portable device that the providers at SLENT can then evaluate to determine if you have sleep apnea. Both the ARESⓇ and ApneaLink AirⓇ testing systems are available.
What are the treatments for sleep apnea?
People with obstructive sleep apnea often benefit from positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, the first and most effective treatment option for the condition. The doctors recommend the type of PAP machine that’s best suited to your sleep disorder and help you learn how to use it. The office also provides PAP resupply from the office.
Depending on the severity of your OSA, you may be a candidate for other therapy options, such as an oral appliance or positional therapy. Multiple surgical options are also available to manage obstructive sleep apnea. These include surgery to remove excess tissue in the back of the throat, top of the mouth, or the tongue, as well as a procedure to reposition the jaw.
An implantable device known as InspireⓇ is another option. It works inside your body with your natural breathing process.
If you suffer from heavy snoring and sleep disturbances, call one of the SLENT offices or book an appointment using the online tool to learn about your sleep apnea treatment options.
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