Sleep Apnea Specialist

Murphy Medical Associates

Acute Primary Care & Board Certified Internal Medicine located in Greenwich, CT & Stamford, CT

If you’re a snorer, you might find your problem is more serious than you think. The team at Murphy Medical Associates, with locations in Greenwich, Stratford, and Stamford, Connecticut, works with patients to manage a potentially dangerous sleep disorder called sleep apnea. To find out what treatment options are available for sleep apnea, call the practice or book an appointment online today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized the repeated stops of starts of breathing. There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Central sleep apnea
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles of the throat relax and slide back to block the patient's airway. Central sleep apnea relates to the signals sent by the brain that controls breathing. Complex sleep apnea syndrome indicates the patient has both types of the condition.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

The symptoms of sleep apnea vary based on the severity of the condition and the type. It can be difficult to determine the exact classification of sleep apnea because it happens during sleep, so the patient is not cognizant of their exact symptoms.

Some common complaints the practice hears include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Breathing cessation witnessed by a partner
  • Abrupt awakenings
  • Dry mouth or a sore throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Irritability

Any one of these symptoms might indicate some form of sleep apnea that requires treatment.

Why is sleep apnea dangerous?

Untreated sleep apnea can cause complications such as heart disease, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. It can also result in less serious problems like poor attention spans and daytime sleepiness.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Your treatment depends on numerous factors, but it starts with a physical exam.

The team might recommend a sleep study to determine the type and level of the apnea, too. He looks at lifestyle factors that can put a person at risk for sleep apnea as part of developing a strategy to control it. Common risk factors include:

  • Excess weight
  • Thick neck
  • Narrow airway
  • Sex (it’s more common among men)
  • Age
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Medications
  • Previous stroke
  • Nasal congestion

Once the team understands how the condition affects you, they create a treatment plan that will likely include lifestyle changes and a therapy like CPAP or EPAP. These are devices that use pressure to keep the airway open to prevent changes in breathing patterns.

Call Murphy Medical Associates to take control of your sleep apnea today.