Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which you stop breathing while you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type of sleep apnea, occurs when your body relaxes while in a deep sleep and your tongue retreats into your throat, blocking your airway. This causes you to snore and jerk yourself awake to clear the blockage.

Central sleep apnea is a condition where your parasympathetic nervous system malfunctions, so your brain doesn’t tell your muscles to continue breathing while you sleep. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of the two.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Snoring is the most recognizable symptom of sleep apnea, which results in your airway being blocked. The extent of the blockage is revealed in the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI), which counts the number of times per hour that the blockage occurs. The higher the blockage, the more destructive the apnea is to your body.

The Apnea-Hypopnea Index categorizes the severity of apnea as:

  • None/minimal: Fewer than five episodes per hour

  • Mild: Five to 14 per hour

  • Moderate: 15 to 29 per hour

  • Severe: 30 or more per hour

However, since sleep apnea disrupts your sleep and reduces the amount of time you spend in deep sleep, you may also experience symptoms including:

  • Headaches and body pain

  • Snoring and poor sleep

  • Daytime fatigue

  • Irritability and mood swings

  • Forgetfulness

  • Depression

  • Poor health and seeing numerous doctors

  • Falling asleep at the wheel

In addition, sleep apnea and poor sleep are associated with health problems including obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. However, if you’re overweight, you may have excess tissue that can block your airways. Also, colds and allergies can cause inflammation that leads to sleep apnea, and alcohol consumption can further relax your soft palate.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

At the Full Breath Center of Beverly Hills, Dr. Keropian uses sleep studies to diagnose sleep apnea. He refers you to a sleep diagnostic facility that offers polysomnograms to monitor and record information about your sleep, your blocked airway, oxygen levels in your body, and snoring. He also utilizes sleep testing equipment that you can use at home to record data about your vital signs while you sleep

A polysomnogram measures your respiration, heart rate, brain activity, and oxygenation. The test can both identify sleep apnea and gauge its severity.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Dr. Keropian provides customized sleep apnea treatments, depending on your specific condition and how it’s impacting your life. Dr. Keropian has designed and patented comfortable and effective mouthpieces that combine with oxygen therapy to prevent your tongue from blocking your airway while you sleep.

Dr. Keropian’s Full Breath Solution combines his patented mouthpieces with oxygen therapy for good health and healing of many ailments with the use of oxygen in treating sleep apnea.

If you’re concerned about sleep apnea, call the Full Breath Center of Beverly Hills or make an appointment online today.