Health Watch — Sleep Disorders: Sleep Apnea

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about sleep disorders. One of the more serious sleep disorders is sleep apnea, in which patients stop breathing periodically throughout the night. That deprives the lungs of oxygen, which can raise the risk for problems such as stroke and high blood pressure. Because apnea sufferers wake up when they stop breathing, they don’t get uninterrupted, restful sleep. Dr. John Truelson, an otolaryngologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says one sign of possible sleep apnea is loud, persistent snoring.

Doctors at UT Southwestern’s Sleep and Breathing Disorders Center use medical devices that deliver a constant stream of air to treat sleep apnea. That keeps the throat open constantly so the patient doesn’t stop breathing. Surgery to remove excess throat tissue may also be required.

Visit UTSW Medicine to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in sleep and breathing disorders.


January 2008

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