Your snoring may make it difficult for your sleeping partner to get a good night’s rest, and it’s possible that your snoring is a symptom of an underlying sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Kamran Jafri, MD PC, in New York City, specializes in sleep apnea and offers home sleep studies to easily and rapidly diagnose a sleep disorder. For an evaluation, call the Financial District or Midtown, Manhattan, office, or click the online booking button.
Snoring is a common problem that occurs when the soft tissues in the back of your mouth and throat vibrate due to turbulent airflow hitting the soft palate. Alcohol or nasal congestion can cause snoring. However, snoring is strongly associated with sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition where a patient has decreased breathing or pauses in breathing while they’re sleeping. This results in decreased oxygen levels getting into your lungs, which in turn causes multiple acute and chronic damaging effects on all parts of your body.
An estimated 80 million people in the United States have some degree of sleep apnea, with up to 80-90% percent of people undiagnosed. While most people with sleep apnea also snore, this is not always the case. In addition, people may snore but do not have sleep apnea – however, this scenario is rare. The social, individual well-being, financial, and societal impact of sleep apnea would be impossible to fully determine given the widespread negative impact it has.
Sleep apnea may develop from many causes. Some of the most common include:
Central sleep apnea is not caused by obstruction of the airway but rather occurs due to your brain sending improper signals to the muscles that help you breathe at night – it’s not as common as obstructive sleep apnea.
Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea may vary, and only your sleeping partner may identify them. Common signs and symptoms include:
You may also find yourself falling asleep in public or when sitting.
A thorough medical history and physical exam are the first steps in diagnosing sleep apnea. The nasal airway can be checked for blockage with nasal endoscopy and the upper/lower airway can be examined with flexible laryngoscopy.
Next, a sleep quality survey like the Epworth Sleepiness Scale is taken to further evaluate for the presence of sleep apnea. If the exam and survey indicate a likelihood of sleep apnea, a sleep study is done next. This can be done in a sleep lab or at home with a Home Sleep Study.
If sleep apnea is diagnosed, then Kamran Jafri, MD PC, develops and executes a comprehensive treatment plan. If the sleep apnea has been ruled out, then further evaluation will be done to evaluate for other sleep disorders like hypersomnia.
Sleep apnea is graded as mild, moderate and severe and this will guide treatment plans. Other parameters like the AHI (apnea-hypopnea index), RDI (respiratory distress index), RERA (respiratory event related arousal), amount of REM and deep sleep, sleep position, presence or absence of snoring, associated medical conditions, airway anatomy and patient weight are all considered when determining treatment options for a patient.
Options include CPAP, septoplasty, turbinoplasty, tonsillectomy, palate surgery, tongue base nerve stimulators, mandible/jaw surgery, dental surgery, and oral airway appliances.
All patients benefit from weight loss, improved sleep habits and sleeping in positions that keep the airway open. It is very important to not just treat the sleep apnea – a comprehensive team of health experts including cardiologists, endocrinologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, acupuncturists, physical therapists, and holistic practitioners should be involved to ensure that all aspects of a sleep apnea patient’s well-being are addressed to resolution.
For a sleep apnea evaluation, contact Kamran Jafri, MD PC, by calling the office or requesting an appointment online today.