Sleep Apnea Specialist

Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine

Sports Medicine Physicians & Pulmonologist located in Metairie, LA

Around 22 million Americans struggle to sleep well at night because of sleep apnea breathing difficulties. At Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine in Metairie, Louisiana, lifestyle medicine physician Andrea Espinoza, MD, FCCP, provides sleep apnea evaluation and treatments to optimize your sleep patterns. For more information about sleep apnea and available treatments, book your consultation by phone or online at Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine today.

Sleep Apnea Q&A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition affecting the way you breathe as you sleep. Without successful long-term management, the lack of oxygen you get as you sleep because of sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications like heart disease and stroke. 

If you have sleep apnea, you struggle to breathe adequately at night. You might gasp for air as you sleep, stop breathing intermittently, or snore loudly. Furthermore, your sleeping problems associated with sleep apnea can lead to daytime symptoms, including:

  • Depression
  • Moodiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Low libido
  • Trouble concentrating

Thankfully, sleep apnea is highly manageable. The team at Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine carefully evaluates your lifestyle and your sleep patterns with sleep apnea to design a personalized management plan for you.

Which type of sleep apnea do I have?

There are three main types of sleep apnea that affect your nighttime breathing patterns in different ways. The team at Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine helps you identify the kind you have and find an effective way to improve your breathing based on your type. You might have:

Obstructive sleep apnea

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your breathing difficulties happen because your airways close or constrict. These usually happen because the tissues, muscles, and fat around your airway collapse when you relax. 

Central sleep apnea

If you have central sleep apnea, your airways may be wide open. However, your muscles don’t get the signals you need from your brain to control the rhythm of your breathing. 

Complex sleep apnea syndrome

Complex sleep apnea syndrome occurs when you start with obstructive sleep apnea, but your symptoms continue even with treatment. It’s a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. 

How is sleep apnea treated?

Your sleep apnea treatment depends on the type of sleep apnea you have and the preferences that you discuss with your provider. At Orthopedic Center for Sports medicine, your sleep apnea management plan might include:

Lifestyle changes

Making changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference for your sleep apnea symptoms regardless of the type you have. The team might tell you to stop smoking, cut back on alcohol consumption, or lose weight as part of your treatment plan. 

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy

CPAP machines are a popular and often highly effective mode of treatment for sleep apnea. You wear a mask at night connected to the machine that sends a stream of air pressure through your airways to keep them open and help you breathe.

Oral devices

Custom oral devices can position your jaw in a way that helps keep your airway open at night. 

In some rare cases that don’t respond to conservative treatments, the team might recommend surgery to treat sleep apnea. 

To find out if sleep apnea is the underlying cause of your mood and concentration problems, call Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine or schedule an appointment online today.