If you’re irritable and overly sleepy during the day, you could have sleep apnea. At his New York City practice on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, experienced pulmonologist Barry J Weinberg, MD, can diagnose your condition and treat it successfully. Untreated sleep apnea can increase your risk of potentially life-threatening diseases like heart failure and stroke, so don’t delay getting help. Call the office of Barry J Weinberg, MD, today or book an appointment online.
Sleep apnea causes one to wake up many times through the night, usually just for a few seconds or minutes. It prevents you from having a restorative night’s sleep, so the next day, you’re still tired. There are three kinds of sleep apnea:
Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send the right signals to the muscles controlling your breathing. This kind of sleep apnea is far less common than the obstructive form.
OSA occurs when your soft palate — the farthest part of the roof of your mouth — drops during sleep. It does this because the muscles in that area get too relaxed, so they aren’t supporting the soft palate. The resulting windpipe blockage stops you from drawing air into your lungs.
Combined sleep apnea has elements of both central and obstructive sleep apnea.
When your breathing stops, your brain wakes you, so you start breathing again. You probably won’t remember waking because you go straight back to sleep after each episode. That means people are often unaware they have sleep apnea.
Without treatment, sleep apnea can increase your risk of severe health conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
You’re also likely to feel sleepy during the day, often to a point where you could fall asleep in an instant. You might have headaches when you wake and a parched mouth. Irritability, difficulties concentrating, and poor memory can also result from sleep apnea.
Dr. Weinberg might give you a device to wear at home while you sleep. It records the oxygen levels in your blood overnight. A low reading indicates that you’re not getting the oxygen you need because of sleep apnea.
More in-depth testing is available at a sleep clinic. While you sleep, you’re under observation, and monitors record what’s going on in your body. How is sleep apnea treated?
There are several effective treatments Dr. Weinberg can prescribe for sleep apnea. One that many people use is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). The CPAP device has a mask that you wear when you’re asleep. A machine pumps air under pressure into your throat, which keeps your airway open.
Another option is bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP). It works similarly to CPAP but uses two different levels of air pressure. Alternatively, you could wear an oral appliance to hold your soft palate open.
If you think you might have sleep apnea, call Barry J Weinberg, MD, today or book an appointment online.