Sleep Apnea is the most common sleep disorder we treat. There are multiple forms and severities of sleep apnea, but all of them can lead to potentially dangerous complications because patients will stop breathing for a minimum of 10 seconds at a time during the night. Also, patients with this disorder are often unaware that they stop breathing and, as a result, symptoms are usually only identified by those around them.
At Middlesex Hospital, we have some of the top sleep specialists in the area, and we’re offering the most innovative treatments available —some of which aren’t available anywhere else in the state. From the CPAP mask to minimally invasive surgery to the groundbreaking new Inspire® therapy, we use the most advanced treatments and technology to create a customized cure for each patient we see.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale is a quick test that you can take and bring to your doctor to share your results. However, just because you don’t have a high score doesn’t mean you don’t have a sleep disorder, and you should always discuss your sleeping problems with a doctor—especially if someone has seen you stop breathing during your sleep.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Although there are many forms and severity levels of sleep apnea, there are some common symptoms to look for, including:
- Snoring caused by restricted air flow in the mouth, nose or throat
- Not feeling refreshed and awake due to lack of proper “deep” sleep
- Problems with memory, especially short term memory
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Morning headaches due to lack of oxygen
- Personality changes, especially irritability
- Choking, gasping or snorting during sleep
- Violent movements or jerking during sleep
- Urination during sleep
Possible Effects of Sleep Apnea
If your sleep apnea goes untreated, it can have several negative effects on your life and your health, including:
- Automobile accidents due to falling asleep behind the wheel
- High blood pressure
- Heart arrhythmias or heart beat abnormalities
- Coronary artery disease
- Congestive heart failure