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Sleep Apnea Specialist

Houston Specialty Clinic

Pediatric Neurology, Pediatric Pulmonary, and Sleep Medicine located in Houston, Sugar Land, and Katy, TX

Loud snoring, insomnia and tiredness during the day, even after a full night’s sleep, may be signs of sleep apnea. Sleep specialists Joshua Rotenberg, MD, and Sarat Susarla, MD, diagnose and treat sleep apnea in children and adults at two Houston Specialty Clinic locations in Houston and in Sugar Land, Texas. Call today for patient-centered care of sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common and potentially serious sleep disorder that happens when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Oxygen levels can drop. Sleep is disrupted. 

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, caused by  a complete or partial blockage of the upper airway during sleep. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send signals to the muscles that control breathing. 


Who gets sleep apnea?

People of all ages can get sleep apnea, including infants and children, but it’s especially common in adults over age 50. People who are overweight are at higher risk for sleep apnea. The team at Houston Specialty Clinic treats sleep apnea in babies, children, teens, and adults. 


What causes sleep apnea?

Various factors can lead to sleep apnea, including your unique physical structure and medical conditions. Causes of sleep apnea include:

  • Obesity
  • Large tonsils
  • Endocrine disorders, including hypothyroidism
  • Neuromuscular conditions such as muscular dystrophy
  • Genetic conditions, including Down syndrome
  • Heart or kidney failure
  • Ehlers Danlos and other hypermobility syndromes 
  • Premature birth
  • Family History

Some lifestyle factors, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and not getting enough exercise, can increase your risk for sleep apnea. 


What are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea?

Snoring, reduced or absent breathing, and gasping during sleep are the most common signs of sleep apnea. Your bed partner may report these signs to you, or you may notice them in your sleeping child. 

One of the main symptoms of sleep apnea is excessive daytime sleepiness despite getting a full night’s sleep. The fatigue may affect your ability to concentrate and increase your risk for mistakes and accidents during the day. You may also experience dry mouth or headache upon waking. 

Insomnia, night-time urination, ansleep-walkin can be provoked by apnea. 


How is sleep apnea diagnosed and treated?

First, your Houston Specialty Clinic provider reviews your medical history and symptoms and performs a physical exam. If they suspect you have sleep apnea, they may give you a sleep test to take at home. At-home sleep testing helps them diagnose sleep apnea in adults. 

In some cases, you may need an in-lab sleep study, which is a more advanced type of sleep test that happens at a sleep center. 

After they confirm a diagnosis, your sleep specialist develops a personalized treatment plan that may include:

  • Surgical evaluation for any irway obstructions
  • Orthodontic referral
  • Lifestyle changes like reaching a healthy weight and getting regular exercise
  •  Devices like a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) 
  • Mouthpieces or oral appliances that open the upper airway
  • Orofacial therapy to strengthen the muscles of the mouth and face

If you think you or your child may have sleep apnea, call Houston Specialty Clinic. 

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