As the time approaches for going back to school, the importance of children and adults getting a good night sleep increases. Unfortunately many children and adults suffer from sleep apnea, which prevents sound, restful sleep on a regular basis.

There are 3 types of sleep apnea:

• Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. It occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, often causing you to snore loudly.

• Central sleep apnea is a much less common type that involves the central nervous system, occurring when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing. People with central sleep apnea seldom snore.

• Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is associated with early morning fatigue, daytime sleepiness, morning headache, high blood pressure, attention issues, sometimes worsening of depression. For children, millions are evaluated yearly for large tonsils and adenoids, which can cause problems ranging from obstructive sleep apnea to recurrent throat infections and even ear infections.

If you or your children may be suffering from sleep apnea a visit to an ENT may be advisable. In children a diagnosis of sleep apnea is usually made through a thorough patient history, and a clinical exam. Adults will typically require a sleep study also. This can be scheduled through our office.