Sleep Apnea

Improve your health and quality of sleep, and prevent health complications with our expertise in treating your sleep apnea

Sleep apnea entails stopping breathing for short periods of time while you sleep. This common condition may seriously impact your health by increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, among other conditions.

Our physicians provide expertise in treating sleep apnea to improve your health and quality of sleep.

When you stop breathing, as you do in sleep apnea, the amount of oxygen in your blood drops, which affects the cells in your body and prevents them from functioning correctly.

Your body often wakes you up multiple times each night as you experience these periods of not breathing. This causes you to become sleep deprived because you get poor quality sleep.

Sleep apnea puts you at greater risk for accidents, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and depression.

Sleep Apnea Types

The two types of sleep apnea include:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Central sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of the condition (especially in patients who are obese), results when the upper airway becomes blocked during sleep, although your body continues to try to breathe.

In less commonly diagnosed central sleep apnea, your brain does not send the signals to your respiratory system to breathe during sleep.

Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

Sleep Apnea Causes

Sleep apnea has a variety of causes, ranging from excess weight and obesity to genetic and physical or anatomical factors. Lifestyle changes, breathing devices, mouth guards and even surgeries can correct your sleep apnea and keep you healthy.

If you have daytime sleepiness or snoring, talk to your physician about the possibility of sleep apnea.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

When you stop breathing, as you do in sleep apnea, the amount of oxygen in your blood drops, which affects the cells in your body and prevents them from functioning correctly.

Your body often wakes you up multiple times each night as you experience these periods of not breathing. This causes you to become sleep deprived because you get poor quality sleep.

Sleep apnea puts you at greater risk for accidents, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and depression.

Sleep Apnea Types

The two types of sleep apnea include:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Central sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of the condition (especially in patients who are obese), results when the upper airway becomes blocked during sleep, although your body continues to try to breathe.

In less commonly diagnosed central sleep apnea, your brain does not send the signals to your respiratory system to breathe during sleep.

Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

Sleep Apnea Causes

Sleep apnea has a variety of causes, ranging from excess weight and obesity to genetic and physical or anatomical factors. Lifestyle changes, breathing devices, mouth guards and even surgeries can correct your sleep apnea and keep you healthy.

If you have daytime sleepiness or snoring, talk to your physician about the possibility of sleep apnea.

Berlin Questionnaire

The Berlin questionnaire screening tool determines your risk of sleep apnea. It assesses your risk by asking how you sleep, whether you snore and if you have high blood pressure. Take the American Sleep Apnea Association’s Berlin Sleep Questionnaire to learn your risk.

Sleep Apnea Screening

Berlin Questionnaire

The Berlin questionnaire screening tool determines your risk of sleep apnea. It assesses your risk by asking how you sleep, whether you snore and if you have high blood pressure. Take the American Sleep Apnea Association’s Berlin Sleep Questionnaire to learn your risk.

Overnight Sleep Study

During an overnight sleep study at an IU Health Sleep Disorders Center, our board-certified physicians and registered technologists observe sleep patterns, provide skilled diagnostic services, and treatment options for each patient.

Home Sleep Studies

For some, you will complete sleep studies at home in the comfort of your own bedroom. You will simply pick up sleep monitoring equipment from an IU Health Sleep Disorders facility and return it when finished.

Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Overnight Sleep Study

During an overnight sleep study at an IU Health Sleep Disorders Center, our board-certified physicians and registered technologists observe sleep patterns, provide skilled diagnostic services, and treatment options for each patient.

Home Sleep Studies

For some, you will complete sleep studies at home in the comfort of your own bedroom. You will simply pick up sleep monitoring equipment from an IU Health Sleep Disorders facility and return it when finished.

We offer advanced, comprehensive treatment options for sleep apnea that fit your individual needs and lifestyle. Your physicians work with you to make the changes necessary to improve your sleep quality and overall well-being.

Your sleep disorders physicians understand the difficulty of going about your daily activities when you have trouble sleeping. They will strive to help you rest easy.

Sleep Apnea Devices

A variety of devices and masks help relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea. IU Health respiratory therapists will work with you to find the ones that fit you best so you can rest comfortably. IU Health Sleep Apnea Education Centers provide individualized breathing device options including CPAP, BiPAP and AutoPAP.

In a consultation of up to 90 minutes, sleep experts use their skill and experience to ensure an excellent fit and teach you how to use your device. They provide thorough follow-up to answer questions, resolve problems and help you use the equipment effectively.

Learn more how IU Health provides personalized CPAP and other breathing devices.

Oral Appliances & Mouthpieces

Selected patients with obstructive sleep apnea may benefit from an oral appliance (or mouthpiece) created by a sleep dentist. The sleep dentist specially molds it to keep your mouth and throat in a position that allows your airways to stay open during sleep.

You may find these more comfortable than PAP machines, though your physician will recommend PAP machines first in the line of treatment for sleep apnea.

Surgical Options

Your physicians may recommend surgical treatment to reduce the risk of airway obstruction if no other options improve your condition.

IU Health Ear, Nose & Throat surgeons can remove tissue in your throat and mouth to open up the airway or move your jaw forward so your airway has a wider opening. All surgeries have risks of bleeding, infection and pain. Speak with your physician about all your options before undergoing surgery.

Weight Loss Support

Body weight can dramatically increase problems associated with sleep apnea. Your physicians will provide you with support and resources to lose weight.

You may need to visit with an IU Health dietitian to create a nutrition plan to help you lose weight in a healthy way. Regular exercise can also lead to weight loss as well as improved sleep quality.

Bariatric Surgery

If you are morbidly obese, one of several bariatric surgeries may help. Bariatric surgery weight loss options include:

Losing excess weight aids the treatment of sleep apnea and often improves the condition. In some cases of mild or moderate sleep apnea, shedding extra pounds may correct the issue.

Referral to Specialist

If your sleep apnea causes other problems, our physicians can refer you to other IU Health experts who can improve your health.

If the amount of oxygen in your blood drops during sleep because you stop breathing, it can increase your blood pressure and risk for heart disease. IU Health Heart & Vascular Care physicians provide expert management of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

We offer advanced, comprehensive treatment options for sleep apnea that fit your individual needs and lifestyle. Your physicians work with you to make the changes necessary to improve your sleep quality and overall well-being.

Your sleep disorders physicians understand the difficulty of going about your daily activities when you have trouble sleeping. They will strive to help you rest easy.

Sleep Apnea Devices

A variety of devices and masks help relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea. IU Health respiratory therapists will work with you to find the ones that fit you best so you can rest comfortably. IU Health Sleep Apnea Education Centers provide individualized breathing device options including CPAP, BiPAP and AutoPAP.

In a consultation of up to 90 minutes, sleep experts use their skill and experience to ensure an excellent fit and teach you how to use your device. They provide thorough follow-up to answer questions, resolve problems and help you use the equipment effectively.

Learn more how IU Health provides personalized CPAP and other breathing devices.

Oral Appliances & Mouthpieces

Selected patients with obstructive sleep apnea may benefit from an oral appliance (or mouthpiece) created by a sleep dentist. The sleep dentist specially molds it to keep your mouth and throat in a position that allows your airways to stay open during sleep.

You may find these more comfortable than PAP machines, though your physician will recommend PAP machines first in the line of treatment for sleep apnea.

Surgical Options

Your physicians may recommend surgical treatment to reduce the risk of airway obstruction if no other options improve your condition.

IU Health Ear, Nose & Throat surgeons can remove tissue in your throat and mouth to open up the airway or move your jaw forward so your airway has a wider opening. All surgeries have risks of bleeding, infection and pain. Speak with your physician about all your options before undergoing surgery.

Weight Loss Support

Body weight can dramatically increase problems associated with sleep apnea. Your physicians will provide you with support and resources to lose weight.

You may need to visit with an IU Health dietitian to create a nutrition plan to help you lose weight in a healthy way. Regular exercise can also lead to weight loss as well as improved sleep quality.

Bariatric Surgery

If you are morbidly obese, one of several bariatric surgeries may help. Bariatric surgery weight loss options include:

Losing excess weight aids the treatment of sleep apnea and often improves the condition. In some cases of mild or moderate sleep apnea, shedding extra pounds may correct the issue.

Referral to Specialist

If your sleep apnea causes other problems, our physicians can refer you to other IU Health experts who can improve your health.

If the amount of oxygen in your blood drops during sleep because you stop breathing, it can increase your blood pressure and risk for heart disease. IU Health Heart & Vascular Care physicians provide expert management of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions.

Patient Stories for Sleep Apnea

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