Dr. Caballero is now offering TeleHealth video appointments for patients who prefer not to visit the office.
Video appointments are available regardless of which state you live in.
TeleHealth appointments are fully reimbursable by all insurance plans during the COVID-19 crisis (standard copay and deductibles still apply).
If you’d like to schedule a TeleHealth video appointment please do so by calling the office 847 655-7442.
Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous condition that occurs when you repeatedly stop and start breathing during sleep. (“Apnea” is the technical term for the suspension of external breathing.) Sleep apnea not only causes chronic exhaustion but it can also lead to heart problems and other complications. There are three different types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive and Central sleep apnea can present in a similar fashion but the most common symptoms include the following:
In addition to these symptoms, sleep apnea can affect your life in a number of ways.
There are eight primary factors that contribute to your risk of developing sleep apnea:
It can be difficult to know if you have obstructive sleep apnea based on your symptoms alone. Some symptoms, like dry mouth, headaches, and fatigue can be caused by other conditions. Others, like lapses in breathing and snoring, only occur when you are asleep and you are therefore oblivious to them. For these reasons, most people who suffer from sleep apnea don’t even know that they have it. According to the Oshner Journal, 85% of sleep apneas are undiagnosed.
If you suffer from these symptoms it may be wise to consult a sleep apnea specialist like Dr. Caballero, at Advanced Sinus and Allergy Center. In addition to taking a thorough medical history Dr. Caballero will conduct a physical exam which includes a procedure called a “flexible nasopharyngoscopy” which involves examining your upper airway for physical indications of what may be contributing to the obstruction. She may also order a sleep study (also known as a polysomnogram) to confirm the diagnosis. This test, which will more precisely determine the severity of your condition, involves monitoring you over night as you sleep and it may be done at home or at a sleep center.
Dr. Caballero offers both nonsurgical and surgical therapies to treat your sleep apnea so you can breathe better and enjoy life again. In all cases, weight loss is of crucial importance. The more weight you lose, the less severe your sleep apnea will become. As part of the treatment plan, Dr. Caballero refers all patients with obstructive sleep apnea to a nutritional and exercise program.
Although it can be cumbersome and annoying to patients, the gold standard treatment for the management of obstructive sleep apnea is still the CPAP mask. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. As the name implies, the CPAP mask increases pressure in your airway forcing it to stay open so you have fewer pauses in your breathing. The effectiveness of the CPAP mask (or any sleep apnea treatment) is measured by a reduction in AHI (the Apnea-Hypopnea Index.) These apnea episodes must last at least 10 seconds and must be accompanied by a drop in blood oxygen levels. While effective, CPAP is not the best treatment for all patient because many people have difficulty tolerating the mask due to claustrophobia, air leaking around the mask, gastric bloating and becoming tangled in the hose.
Surgical procedures can directly address the sites of obstruction and may be the best option for patients who can’t tolerate CPAP treatment. For example, a septoplasty can be an effective remedy for a deviated septum, a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) can resolve obstruction caused by large tonsils, and a coblastion of the tongue can eliminate the problems caused by a droopy uvula.
The efficacy of these surgical procedures can be improved by using a dental appliance which is similar to a mouth guard. Such an appliance brings the jaw forward during sleep and keeps the back of the throat open.
Another surgical treatment for sleep apnea involves implanting an electrode which stimulates the hypoglossal nerve the same way a pacemaker stimulates the nerves that control the heart. This treatment, technically known the Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator but more commonly known by the brand name Inspire®, was approved by the FDA in 2014. The device consists of 3 parts: a sensing lead which gets placed over the chest, a neurostimulator piece that is placed under the clavicle and a stimulation lead that runs from the stimulator to the hypoglossal nerve under the tongue. When the device sends an electronic impulse to activate the nerves the tongue contracts and moves forward and allows the airway to open.
If you experience the symptoms of sleep apnea and want to learn which treatment is best for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Caballero in her Park Ridge, IL office (northwest Chicago area.) Call (847) 655-7442 or click the Request Appointment button at the top of this page.