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Sleep Apnea Specialist

Respiratory, Critical Care, and Sleep Specialists

Pulmonology & Critical Care located in Des Plaines, IL & Portage Park, Chicago, IL

Loud snoring and feeling tired after a full night’s sleep may be warning signs of a potentially serious condition called sleep apnea. The experts at Respiratory, Critical Care, and Sleep Specialists diagnose and treat sleep apnea at three clinics in Chicago, Des Plaines, and Oak Park, Illinois. If you think you or a loved one may have sleep apnea, call or book an appointment online today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop and start repeatedly. Pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur more than 30 times in an hour. The team at Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists treats different types of sleep apnea, including:

Obstructive sleep apnea

This is the most common form of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when your throat muscles collapse and block airflow during sleep. Breathing may resume again with a snort or choking sound.

Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain fails to send the right signals to the muscles that control breathing.

Complex sleep apnea syndrome

Complex sleep apnea syndrome happens when you have both obstructive and central forms of the disorder at the same time.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Obstructive and central sleep apnea share common signs and symptoms, including:

  • Loud, frequent snoring
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Episodes of absent breathing during sleep (reported by another person)
  • Dry mouth and headaches upon waking
  • Extreme daytime fatigue

Because sleep apnea interferes with your sleep, it can cause complications that affect your entire well-being, including difficulty concentrating and decreased sex drive.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed and treated?

The team at Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists has extensive expertise in diagnosing sleep apnea. They begin with a physical exam and review of your symptoms and medical history. Based on your needs, they recommend one of the following tests:

Sleep study

This study occurs at a Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists clinic. They hook you up to specialized equipment that monitors information including your brain activity, muscle activity, breathing patterns, and blood oxygen levels as you sleep.

Home sleep test

This is a simplified sleep test you can take in the comfort of your own home. These tests typically measure your breathing patterns, blood oxygen levels, and heart rate.

Then, your provider discusses the best treatment options for you. Treatment for sleep apnea may include:

  • Lifestyle changes like weight loss and quitting smoking
  • Wearing a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask
  • Wearing an oral appliance to keep your throat open

If sleep apnea continues despite attempts at treatment, surgery may be necessary.

To find relief from sleep apnea, call Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists or book an appointment online today.