For people with obstructive sleep apnea, the soft tissue in the back of the throat often collapses during sleep and partially or completely blocks the airway. As a result, not enough air flows into the lungs to deliver oxygen to the blood. So as your oxygen level drops, a signal goes to your brain which sends out a message to wake you up so you can restart your breathing. This constant wake-up call leads to interruptions during sleep.
Do you have obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea risk factors:
- Have an enlarged tongue and/or tonsils
- Are male: Men are about twice as likely to develop sleep apnea as women
- Have a family history.
- Have heart risk factors, including high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke
- Are African American, Mexican, or Pacific Islander
Obstructive sleep apnea symptoms:
- Snoring. This is the most common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring tends to be particularly loud when lying on your back; some people make a gasping or choking sound as their breathing restarts
- Feeling excessively tired during the day
- Irritability and/or depression
- Difficulty learning, remembering, and concentrating
- Mouth breathing (common in children with sleep apnea)
- Dry mouth or throat when you wake up in the morning
- Falling asleep while driving and watching TV
Obstructive sleep apnea complications:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Morning tiredness
- Need to use the bathroom frequently at night (nocturia)
- Weight gain
Obstructive sleep apnea treatment
Chicago ENT offers patients a number of treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea.
Look to the experts for comprehensive care and minimally invasive treatments.
If you snore or have sleep apnea, you need to choose a sleep specialist that knows as much about diagnosing your disorder as treating it. That’s why you need to talk to Chicago ENT. While sleep centers, dentists and surgeons tend to recommend a single solution for all their patients, Chicago ENT takes a more comprehensive—and effective—approach. First, we’ll make a diagnosis. Then we’ll decide whether CPAP, oral appliances, or one of our minimally invasive procedures is right for you. After all, we understand that there is more than one way to help you get a better night’s sleep.