Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder in which breathing stops or becomes extremely labored multiple times each hour. Both the decrease in blood oxygen saturation and disturbed sleep put people with sleep apnea at higher risk for a number of health conditions. Diagnosis and treatment is available at Neurology & Sleep Medicine in Rio Rancho.
There are two types of sleep apnea—central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is caused by the brain; periodically during sleep, the brain does not send nerve signals to the lungs to start inhalation. As a result, there is no breathing and no breathing effort.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the collapse of airways, resulting in the inability to inhale sufficient air. Airway collapse is typically accompanied by increased breathing effort, often resulting in symptomatic snoring, gasping or choking noises. Some people with sleep apnea do not wake during the night, so they are unaware of their symptoms. Often bed partners prompt them to seek medical treatment.
Sleep apnea is diagnosed by sleep study. During a normal night’s sleep in our clinic, your body movements and internal functions, like heart rate, breathing rate, brain waves, etc., are monitored and recorded. The results are analyzed by Dr. Senthil Ramasamy, our board-certified sleep specialist, to determine if they indicate sleep apnea.
The gold standard for sleep apnea treatment is continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, which helps keep airways open throughout the night. There are variations of CPAP—e.g., Bi-level PAP and AutoPAP—that vary air pressure during inhalation/exhalation and/or various stages of sleep to increase comfort.
Dr. Ramasamy can help you find the treatment that works best for you as well as the sleep mask style that suits your nighttime breathing mechanics.
To start the process of diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea, contact us to schedule an initial consultation.