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Sleep Apnea

Testing & Treatment

At Sleep Well DC in Washington, DC, our extensive training and experience empower us to provide comprehensive assistance to patients dealing with sleep apnea. We recognize that understanding the nuances of sleep disorders is the first step toward effective treatment.

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What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a prevalent breathing disorder that can profoundly impact one's sleep quality and overall health. It manifests as brief interruptions of breathing during sleep caused by a blockage in the airway. These blockages can be attributed to various factors, including the relaxation of throat muscles, the tongue, tonsils, or the soft palate falling backward into the throat.

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Diagnosis and Treatment

To accurately diagnose OSA, a polysomnogram or "sleep study" is typically conducted. During this study, a skilled sleep technician monitors brain activity and physiological functions while the patient rests, either at a sleep clinic or in the comfort of their home. Subsequently, a sleep physician carefully evaluates the data collected during the sleep study to diagnose sleep disorders, including OSA.

Signs and Symptoms

The often insidious nature of sleep apnea means that individuals affected by it are often unaware of the issue. In many cases, their bed partners observe the following signs and symptoms: snoring, sudden gasping and choking during sleep, persistent fatigue and daytime drowsiness, and complaints of morning headaches, among others.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Facts

  • Anything that can narrow your airway, such as obesity, large tonsils, or changes in your hormone levels, can increase your risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). 

  • Congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes are some of the conditions that may increase the risk of OSA. 

  • Doctors estimate 9.1% of men and 4% of women have sleep apnea. That translates to 18-25 million Americans (1 in every 15) with sleep apnea.

  • Possibly, as few as 5% of sleep apnea patients have been diagnosed or have taken a sleep study.

  • Approximately 50% of all patients with hypertension or high blood pressure are also afflicted with obstructive sleep apnea.

  • Because sleep apnea affects your sleep, it also affects your daytime alertness and performance. Untreated sleep apnea can make it difficult to stay awake, focus your eyes, and react quickly while driving. Studies show that people with untreated sleep apnea have an increased risk of being involved in a fatigue-related motor vehicle crash.

  • Snoring doesn't necessarily mean you have a medical condition, but it can sometimes be a sign of a serious sleep disorder, including sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is characterized by loud snoring followed by a few seconds of quiet because of a pause in breathing.

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Dr. Gupta's Approach

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale

At Sleep Well DC, our dedicated team, led by Dr. Gupta, specializes in treating obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. This non-invasive approach can significantly improve your sleep quality, making restless nights and disruptive snoring a thing of the past.

Take a short questionnaire to measure your sleepiness with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. You can then upload your results to Dr. Gupta. Our office will contact you to schedule a free 30 minute consultation. 

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