Sleep Apnea is a very common breathing disorder that affects millions of people. If you or a loved one is affected by loud snoring, fatigues, and headaches an Austin Regional Clinic Otolaryngologist can help you diagnose and treat Sleep Apnea.
Characterized by numerous involuntary breathing pauses or "apneic events" during a single night's sleep. During the apneic event your body can’t breathe oxygen or exhale carbon dioxide. This alerts the brain and causes the body to awake from deep sleep and continue breathing function.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
People who have OSA stop breathing repeatedly during sleep because the airway collapses. This collapse may be due to factors including a large tongue, extra tissue in the airway, or decreased muscle tone holding the airway open. These factors create an obstruction which prevents air from getting into the lungs. This creates "pauses" in breathing known as apnea events. For some, these events can happen 30 times or more per hour. When healthy sleep is interrupted in this way, the risk of developing serious health conditions may increase.
What is the easiest way to find out if someone has sleep apnea?
The only way to determine whether or not someone has Obstructive Sleep Apnea is an overnight sleep study. However, there are screening questionnaires which can help determine relative risk for sleep apnea. Ask your doctor for one of these brief questionnaires.
I've always snored. Why should I seek treatment now?
The presence of snoring alone doesn't mean you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Apnea is more specifically defined by the number of times your body fails to breathe while you sleep. Left untreated, OSA has been found to have a negative impact on other areas of your health, including high blood pressure and risk of stroke.
If my doctor says I need a sleep study, where should I go?
You should look for a sleep diagnostic center that is accredited by a health care organization for its consistent quality and accuracy of testing. You should also consider finding a provider with the ability to perform the sleep study AND provide your therapy. This simplifies the process for both you and your physician through improved coordination of care and reduced times from the date of your initial referral to initiation of therapy.
Does insurance cover the cost of a sleep study?
Sleep studies are covered by most insurance plans. You should have your insurance ID card available when you schedule your sleep study. The sleep diagnostic center will be able to provide you with options to ensure you receive the care you need.
How do I know what type of therapy I will require?
Based on the results of your sleep study, your physician will make a determination of the best therapy for you. This might include CPAP therapy, pharmacotherapy or a surgical procedure to correct existing airway obstructions. CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for OSA; CPAP therapy providers will work with you to ensure you have the device that best meets your clinical and lifestyle needs.
Is CPAP therapy covered by insurance?
CPAP therapy is covered by most insurance plans. You should have your insurance ID card available when you discuss options with your therapy provider. They will be able to provide you with options to ensure you receive the device that best meets your clinical and lifestyle needs.
ARC offers coordinated sleep study services with various REM sleep labs in town and the physicians in our Ears Nose and Throat (ENT) Department. Your primary care or ENT physician will determine if you are a candidate for sleep disorder diagnosis and therapy. If so, you may undergo a diagnostic sleep study at one of the sleep lab locations listed below. The sleep study will help determine the quality of your sleep by recording several things your body is doing during sleep through small sensors placed on your head, face, neck, and legs. ARC ENT specialtists
will interpret the studies and recommend the best treatment for you.
Sleep Lab Locations