Understanding Sleep Apnea in New Albany, Indiana

Baptist Health Floyd: Understanding Sleep Apnea in New Albany, Indiana

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing repeatedly starts and stops, thus waking up the brain. Learn more about sleep apnea screenings and treatment today.

Understanding Sleep Apnea in New Albany, Indiana HealthTalks Transcript

Rajanna Ramaswamy, MD, Sleep Medicine:
Sleep apnea is stoppage of breathing. Stoppage of breathing causes the brain to wake up, and the brain does not go into deep sleep cycles.

The majority of patients have obstructive sleep apnea due to obstruction in the airway, which is behind the tongue. Usually, we screen the patients with what we call a “STOP-BANG screening tool.” So, STOP, S-T-O-P: S stands for snoring; T stands for tiredness; O stands for observed apneas; and P stands for pressure, blood pressure. BANG is B-A-N-G. B stands for body mass index, which is more than 35; A stands for age, more than 50 years; N is neck size, 17 inches; and G is gender. Being a male is another risk factor.

The treatment of sleep apnea is using a CPAP or a BiPAP.

The main cause of sleep apnea is closure of the airway. When we are breathing, we are sucking air into the lungs with a negative pressure, and when we sleep, the muscles are relaxed, and the airway collapses. So, we are converting this negative pressure to a positive pressure where you push air into the lungs so that you don’t have collapse of the airway. You splint it open.

Some of my patients who come back say, “Oh, I should have done this about five years ago. Why didn’t I do it?” They feel so much better.

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