Sleep Apnea Basics: 4 FAQs Answered
We asked a sleep medicine expert to answer some frequently asked questions about this common condition.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea:
Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea can be easily mistaken for other disorders. But a thorough history can help your doctor determine if the following symptoms indicate sleep apnea. These include:
The causes of sleep apnea depend in part on which type you have. Common causes for obstructive sleep apnea include:
Common causes for central sleep apnea include:
If it’s left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to several, potentially serious, health complications, such as:
Your doctor might ask you to keep a sleep diary to record your symptoms in addition to taking your complete health history. And even if your symptoms point to a diagnosis of sleep apnea, the only way to definitively diagnose the condition is to do a sleep study. At Henry Ford, we offer two sleep study options so that you and your doctor can choose the one that best suits your needs.
There are several effective methods for treating sleep apnea, including lifestyle changes, surgery and some newer, less invasive devices. Our caring team of sleep specialists will work closely with you to determine the best treatment to suit your condition and your lifestyle.
Surgery may be an option for people who are unable to use CPAP or an oral appliance. There are multiple surgical options available to correct sleep apnea, including less invasive procedures.
At Henry Ford, our sleep doctors work together with the ear, nose and throat surgeons to determine if surgery is right for you.
Learn more about our sleep apnea surgery options.