Sleep Apnea Specialist

Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey

Internal Medicine Physicians located in Vineland, NJ

Most people aren’t aware they have sleep apnea until a partner complains about their loud snoring. Once you suspect you have apnea, see the doctors at Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey in Vineland. Their expert evaluation and treatment can prevent the serious health problems that sleep apnea can cause, such as high blood pressure and heart arrhythmia. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Vineland, New Jersey.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when you repeatedly stop breathing while sleeping. If your breathing stops for at least 10 seconds and this happens five or more times in an hour, you have sleep apnea.

The number of times you stop breathing per hour determines whether you have mild, moderate, or severe sleep apnea. In severe cases, you may stop breathing 30 times or more every hour.

What causes sleep apnea?

There are two types of sleep apnea, each with a different cause:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea, which is when the airway at the back of your throat is blocked by soft tissues like your tongue
  • Central sleep apnea, which is when the airway stays open but your brain doesn’t send a signal telling your body to breathe

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type. Central sleep apnea may be the result of a stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, heart failure, or other diseases.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

The two most common symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness. Apnea constantly interrupts your sleep so you can’t get a good night’s rest.

You may also have symptoms such as:

  • Morning headaches
  • Dry mouth or a sore throat when you wake
  • Inability to concentrate or memory problems
  • Irritability or depression

Many patients also find that they wake up feeling tired rather than refreshed.

How do you diagnose sleep apnea?

Your doctor at Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey may ask you to undergo a sleep study, either at home or in a sleep lab.

During an in-home study, you wear equipment that tracks your breathing, oxygen levels, and airflow. At a sleep lab, they can also measure muscle movement and heart, lung, and brain activity.

How do you treat sleep apnea?

Your doctor develops a treatment plan based on the severity and cause of your sleep apnea. For central sleep apnea, you Medical Alliance doctor must treat the underlying condition. If you have mild obstructive sleep apnea and you’re overweight, then losing weight may relieve the apnea.

There are two primary treatments for obstructive sleep apnea:

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

With CPAP, you wear a mask attached to a machine that delivers air through the mask. The air creates enough pressure to keep your airway open and prevent apnea.

Oral appliance

You wear a device over your teeth that brings your jaw slightly forward, which in turn prevents your tongue from covering your airway.

If you’re a loud snorer or struggle with excessive daytime sleepiness, schedule a sleep apnea evaluation by calling Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey or booking an appointment online.