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Sleep Apnea: The Importance of Treatment

What is sleep apnea and how you can treat it.


Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is the recurrent obstruction of the upper airway during sleep. It is the most common cause of sleep deprivation and is a potentially life-threatening disorder. During episodes of apnea, the flow of air during breathing decreases or is completely blocked.

A less common type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea, where the brain does not initiate a breath.  Neurologic conditions, medications and severe obesity are likely causes of central sleep apnea. Leaving sleep apnea untreated can be deadly.

Our board-certified Sleep Medicine physician, Dr. Gregory Hicklin, says, “Sleep apnea has a profound effect on cardiovascular health and blood sugar, and can contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar and heart problems. But treating obstructive apnea is pretty easy and the improvements are dramatic.”

How is it Treated?

A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) or Bi-PAP (Bi level Positive Airway Pressure) Device is given to someone who has sleep apnea and it helps the individual breathe more easily during sleep. A PAP machine increases air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn't collapse while you breathe in. If you have sleep apnea, using a PAP Device nightly could drastically change your life.

Do I Need a Sleep Study?

Think you might have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder? If your sleep habits are impairing your quality of life, you would likely benefit from a sleep study at the West Lakes Sleep Center.

The West Lakes Sleep Center is a state-of-the-art, fully accredited, 24-hour service with eight private rooms for sleep studies. Each room has a comfortable bed, private bath and a big screen TV.

If you think you might be a candidate for a sleep study, don't delay – call our West Lakes Sleep Center today at (515) 875-9555.

West Lakes Sleep Center is a partnership between The Iowa Clinic and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines.

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