Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Monday, October 31, 2016

Obstructive sleep apnea happens when something partly or completely blocks your upper airway during sleep. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes people to temporarily stop or decrease breathing repeatedly during sleep.

Snoring is common in almost everyone who has obstructive sleep apnea. Other signs and symptoms include:

Gasping for air while sleeping

Morning headache

Daytime sleepiness

High blood pressure, and

Depression

If your doctor thinks you have OSA, the diagnosis can be made by sleep studies either at your home or at a special sleep center.

The standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine. CPAP uses pressurized air to keep the airway open at night. While you sleep, you will wear a mask that connects to the CPAP machine. Some masks fit over the mouth and nose. Other masks fit over the nose only.

Your doctor may suggest a BiPAP, a bi-level positive airway pressure machine. CPAP forces air at a continuous pressure, but BiPAP forces air at higher pressures when you breathe in and at lower pressures when you breathe out.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.