Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Specialist
Tossing and turning -- or snoring -- throughout the night isn’t anything to be taken lightly. Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing becomes erratic, sometimes stopping, and then starting back up again. Because sleep apnea can leave you feeling groggy and can also be dangerous for your health, get a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan from Dr. Michel Babajanian, who serves the west Los Angeles area.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

by Michel Babajanian, MD, FACS

What are the types of sleep apnea?

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (most common): When you have obstructive sleep apnea, your airway collapses, or gets blocked, making it difficult for air to pass through. Your breathing often becomes very shallow and you might stop breathing for short periods of time -- this leads to snoring. Often, obstructive sleep apnea is tied to being overweight.
  • Central sleep apnea: In less frequent cases of sleep apnea, your brain fails to send signals to the muscles that help you breathe. As a result, you may stop breathing for short periods of time. Snoring isn’t typically a side effect of central sleep apnea.
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome: This less common type of sleep apnea is defined as having both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

  • Snoring
  • Headaches upon waking
  • Inability to focus
  • Extreme daytime fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Tossing and turning
  • Inability to fall or stay asleep
  • Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
  • Waking up multiple times with a shortness of breath

Are there health risks to having sleep apnea?

Yes. If you have sleep apnea, you may have a higher risk of developing:

  • Type 2 diabetes: Sleep apnea has been linked to insulin resistance.
  • Hypertension: Since sleep apnea affects the amount of oxygen you take in, as well as the frequency, the oxygen in your blood also decreases. These blood oxygen drops strain your cardiovascular system, requiring your body to work harder than normal to circulate blood.
  • Heart attack: Because your cardiovascular system works harder with sleep apnea, your risk of suffering from a heart attack also increases.
  • Fatty liver: Tests show that people with chronic sleep apnea are more likely to have liver scarring, which can minimize normal liver function. This condition is known as “nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.”
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Michel Babajanian, MD, FACS
2080 Century Park East
Suite 1700
Los Angeles, CA 90067