Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea / Sleep disorders

Sleeping is important to both your physical and your mental well-being. By studying brain-wave patterns, medical researchers have learned that there are repeated cycles and stages of sleep. Healthful sleep involves going through these cycles four or more times every night and spending a sufficient amount of time in each cycle. Unfortunately, many people suffer from sleep disorders (or sleep apnea).

What is sleep apnea?

The Greek word "apnea" literally means "without breath." Sleep apnea is an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs while the patient is asleep. There are three types of aleep apnea:

1) Obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (also often referred as OSA for short) is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep.

2) Central sleep apnea
Regarding central sleep apnea, the cause is quite different. The brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe and the airway is not blocked.

3) Mixed sleep apnea
Mixed sleep apneais, as the name implies, is a combination of the above two. With each apnea event, the brain rouses the sleeper, usually only partially, to signal breathing to resume. As a result, the patient's sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality.

Despite the difference in the root cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer.

In most cases, the sleeper is unaware of these breath stoppages because they do not trigger a full awakening. Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes.

HK ENT Specialist offers sleep disordered breathing management services. If you need any assistances or inquiries, please contact us. Our ENT services include:

Sleep disordered breathing Management

  • Sleep disordered breathing study
  • Sleep nasoendoscopy
  • Surgical treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep breathing disorder