In our quest to provide you with the most authoritative information on sleep apnea and treatments, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide that educates and equips you with valuable insights to manage this common sleep disorder effectively. At Broward, we understand the importance of addressing sleep apnea and are committed to helping you.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. It affects millions worldwide and can lead to many health problems if left untreated.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

This is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when the muscles in the throat relax excessively, causing a blockage in the airway.

Common OSA Symptoms

  • Loud and persistent snoring
  • Frequent interruptions in breathing during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

If you or Dr. DuMornay suspect the presence of sleep apnea, a thorough evaluation process is initiated. This involves gathering information about your symptoms, overall health, and medical history. Additionally, Dr. DuMornay examines the structures of your throat and assesses any signs or risk factors associated with obstructive sleep apnea.

Dr. DuMornay may recommend an at-home sleep study to obtain a definitive diagnosis. In this process, you’ll have a portable device to take home. Following his instructions, you will attach simple sensors, an elastic band and a finger probe to yourself. This device will continuously monitor your oxygen levels and airflow throughout the night.

Once you’ve completed the study and returned the device, Dr. DuMornay will carefully analyze the collected data. Based on these results, he will make a diagnosis, either confirming the presence of sleep apnea or ruling it out.

Health Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Reduced quality of life

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Risks

Sleep apnea, a prevalent sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep, is not merely a disruptive condition that robs you of restful nights. It poses a substantial risk to cardiovascular health.

Heart Failure

Sleep apnea is closely linked to heart failure, a chronic condition where the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently is compromised. The mechanisms behind this connection are multifaceted:

Intermittent Hypoxia

During apnea episodes, oxygen levels in the blood drop significantly. This triggers the body’s stress response, leading to the release of stress hormones like adrenaline. Over time, this stress on the cardiovascular system can weaken the heart muscle.

Increased Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea is a known contributor to hypertension or high blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure can strain the heart, making it work harder and potentially leading to heart failure.

Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

Sleep apnea can induce chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. These factors damage blood vessels and the heart muscle, setting the stage for heart failure.

Stroke Risk

The association between sleep apnea and an increased risk of stroke is well-documented. Here’s how sleep apnea contributes to this risk:

Cerebral Blood Flow

Apnea episodes can lead to intermittent drops in oxygen levels, reducing the amount of oxygen supplied to the brain. This can damage brain cells and increase the likelihood of stroke.


As mentioned earlier, sleep apnea often leads to high blood pressure, a significant risk factor for stroke. The constant strain on the blood vessels can contribute to the formation of blood clots.

Atrial Fibrillation

Sleep apnea has been linked to atrial fibrillation (AFib), which can lead to the formation of blood clots that start in the heart and then travel to the brain, causing a stroke.

The Role of Treatment

Addressing sleep apnea becomes paramount due to the undeniable connection between sleep apnea and heart failure and stroke risks. Effective treatment not only improves your quality of sleep but can also mitigate these severe health threats. Here’s what we offer at Broward.

Somnoguard Oral Appliance

This innovative device serves as a mouthpiece designed to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. By gently moving your lower jaw forward, it helps to keep your airway open during sleep. This repositioning prevents the collapse of the soft tissues at the back of your throat, reducing or eliminating apnea episodes and snoring.


Snoreplasty is a noninvasive procedure that targets snoring. It involves injecting a substance, often a solution like a sclerosing agent or a polymer, into the the roof of your mouth. This injection hardens the palate, making it less prone to vibration during breathing. Additionally, it pulls the uvula forward, further reducing snoring sounds by minimizing the vibration of these tissues.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is minimally invasive, employing radiofrequency waves to reduce the size of the tongue, particularly at the base, which obstructs the airway during sleep. By shrinking this tissue, the airway becomes less prone to blockage, allowing for improved airflow and reduced apnea events.

Nasal Surgery

Some cases of sleep apnea and snoring can be attributed to issues with the nasal passages. Nasal surgery, often called septoplasty, aims to correct a deviated septum. A deviated septum can obstruct the nasal airway, making it difficult to breathe through the nose. By straightening the septum, this surgical procedure can enhance nasal airflow and decrease the need for mouth breathing during sleep.


The uvula is the small, conical piece of tissue hanging down at the throat’s back. A lengthy or swollen uvula can sometimes contribute to snoring and sleep apnea. Uvulectomy involves the removal of a portion or the entirety of the uvula. This procedure aims to alleviate the obstruction or vibration caused by the uvula, potentially reducing snoring and improving airflow during sleep.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

UPPP is a surgical intervention for individuals with obstructive sleep apnea. During this procedure, both the soft palate and excess throat tissue are removed or reshaped. This enlarges the airway at the back of the throat, reducing the likelihood of obstruction during sleep. UPPP is typically considered when other treatment options have been ineffective.

Broward Can Help

Remember: Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential for effectively managing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a severe condition with wide-ranging effects on heart and brain health. Understanding its risks and the importance of effective treatment is crucial. Addressing sleep apnea significantly reduces heart failure and stroke risks, safeguarding cardiovascular well-being. Prioritizing your health through treatment and positive lifestyle choices is proactive for a longer, healthier life.

If you or a loved one struggles with sleep apnea, consult a healthcare professional for treatment options. At Broward, we’re committed to providing authoritative information and resources to help you conquer sleep apnea. For detailed information and personalized guidance on sleep apnea, contact our expert team here or by calling (954) 368-3348. We’re here to support your journey to better sleep and improved health.

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