Sleep apnea is a common disorder that can be very serious, and even life threatening. If you experience waking episodes accompanied by a feeling of choking or gasping for air at night, you need to be evaluated by a sleep specialist. The Sleep Center at The University of Vermont Medical Center performs advanced sleep studies and offers comprehensive treatment options.
Sleep Apnea: What You Need to Know
Our sleep care specialists include a team of sleep medicine-certified physicians and skilled technicians, along with physicians specially trained in, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat, or ENT), neurology, pulmonary disease, mental health and pediatrics. Our team approach ensures that you receive the most comprehensive care possible for your sleep apnea.
A polysomnography sleep study is the only sure way to diagnose sleep apnea. Doctors at The UVM Medical Center Sleep Center use the latest technology in the diagnosis of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.
Treatment options for sleep apnea might include lifestyle changes, breathing devices or, in serious cases, surgery. The UVM Medical Center doctors tailor a course of treatment specifically for you depending on specific needs.
Experienced, Trusted Expertise
The UVM Medical Center has the only Sleep Center in Chittenden County that is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, considered the gold standard in the field of sleep care. This accreditation shows that a sleep center maintains the highest standards of care. In addition, you benefit from the clinical and teaching excellence and research-based expertise found only at an academic medical center.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common disorder that can be very serious, and even life threatening. In sleep apnea, your breathing stops or gets very shallow while you are sleeping. Each pause in breathing typically lasts 10 to 20 seconds or more. These pauses can occur 20 to 30 times or more an hour.
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. During sleep, enough air cannot flow into your lungs through your mouth and nose, even though you try to breathe. When this happens, the amount of oxygen in your blood may drop. Normal breaths then start again with a loud snort or choking sound.
Symptoms of sleep apnea can include
- Frequent waking episodes at night, usually accompanied by a feeling of "choking" or gasping for air.
- Significant others or roommates report hearing gasping, gagging, or choking sounds from you.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea at The UVM Medical Center
A polysomnography (PSG) sleep study is the only sure way to diagnose sleep apnea.
A PSG is a non-invasive test that monitors many body functions including breathing patterns, respiratory airflow, brain activity, eye movements, muscle tone, heart rate and rhythm, and breathing pattern while you sleep. To have a PSG, we'll ask you to come to the sleep center in the evening so that the test can record your nighttime sleep patterns.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea in Burlington, VT
The severity of sleep apnea makes treatment essential. Treatment may include:
- Behavioral changes
- Physical and mechanical devices
- In some severe cases, surgery .
Find a doctor or specialist at The UVM Medical Center or call 802-847-5338.