Sleep Apnea

San Francisco Neurology and Sleep Center

Sleep Lab located in Chinatown, San Francisco, CA

Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in America. The condition interferes with your breathing patterns as you sleep, causing snoring, poor-quality sleep, and more. Find comprehensive, evidence-based sleep apnea care at San Francisco Neurology and Sleep Center in Chinatown, San Francisco. Call Joy Meng, MD, and the team to request an appointment today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing periodically during the night as you sleep. It’s a serious sleep disorder because interrupted breathing means your brain may not get enough oxygen. 

There are two different types of sleep apnea, including obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when your airway gets blocked as your muscles relax during sleep. OSA is the most common kind of sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is a neurological condition. If you have central sleep apnea, your brain doesn’t send the proper signals to your muscles to breathe while you sleep. Some people have complex sleep apnea syndrome, which is a combination of OSA and CSA.

What are the signs of sleep apnea?

Loud snoring is a classic sign of sleep apnea. But, it can be hard to identify because you may not know that you snore or stop breathing while you sleep. 

The symptoms of sleep apnea often include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Stopping breathing while you sleep
  • Gasping for air while you sleep
  • Dry mouth in the morning
  • Headache in the morning
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability

It can be helpful to have someone else report on sleeping behaviors like snoring or halted breathing during sleep. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea are very similar, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis through a sleep study to understand your condition. 

Who is at risk for sleep apnea?

Anyone can suffer from sleep apnea, including children. However, some risk factors make it more likely that you have sleep apnea. These risk factors include:

  • Being male
  • Being over 40 years old
  • Family history
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Nasal congestion

Men over the age of 40 are most likely to have the condition. Being overweight or having a thicker neck circumference can make your airways narrower. 

How is sleep apnea treated?

If you suffer from snoring, daytime sleepiness, or other signs of sleep apnea, visit San Francisco Neurology and Sleep Center, Inc. Many people undergo sleep studies in the sleep lab to confirm a sleep apnea diagnosis.

During a sleep study, your breathing patterns, heart, lung, and brain activity, and blood oxygen levels are monitored. If you have sleep apnea, there are a number of treatment options available to you.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines help manage sleep apnea by delivering air pressure through a mask that you wear while you sleep. The pressure helps keep your airways open to keep you breathing. 

Oral appliances work by adjusting your jaw to keep your throat clear. Oral appliances can be more convenient and less bothersome than a CPAP machine. For severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may be required.

If you think you might have sleep apnea, make an appointment at San Francisco Neurology and Sleep Center, Inc. Sleep apnea treatment can give you better quality sleep and improve your overall health. Request an appointment online or over the phone today.