People with sleep apnea stop breathing several times during the night. The pauses in breathing can last for a few seconds to minutes. This causes oxygen levels to fall and disrupts sleep. People with sleep apnea can suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, problems concentrating and performing tasks, high blood pressure and other heart problems.
The most common sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). With OSA, the airway collapses or is blocked during sleep. When people with this condition try to breathe, the small amount of air that makes it past the blockage causes a loud snoring.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP is the most common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea. It is a machine that delivers air through a mask on the nose. The machine blows air into the throat to keep it open. Treatment options may also include lifestyle changes or surgery.
Sleep specialists in Gundersen’s Sleep Center can help diagnose and treat sleep apnea.