Phone 212-263-7951 Fax 212-263-0462
Francis V. Adams, M.D.
Francis V. Adams, M.D.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when a person regularly stops breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. There are two main types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive.

Central sleep apnea, which is less common, occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles to initiate respirations.

Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common and occurs when air cannot flow into or out of the person's nose or mouth although efforts to breathe continue. When this happens, the amount of oxygen in the blood may drop. Normal breaths then start again with a loud snort or choking sound.

Most people don't know they have sleep apnea. A family member and/or bed partner may notice the signs of sleep apnea first. Untreated sleep apnea can increase the chance of having high blood pressure and even a heart attack or stroke. Untreated sleep apnea can also increase the risk of diabetes and the risk for work-related accidents and driving accidents.

recommended reading
These articles provide in-depth information and are written to help you make the best healthcare decisions for you and your loved ones.
Sleep Apnea
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) for Sleep Apnea

Quit Smoking

decision points
When dealing with an illness or health problem, you have to make decisions—when to call a doctor, which test to have, and what treatment to use. Decision Points are designed to help you learn about your choices and options, and to prepare you to work with your healthcare provider to make the best decision for your care.
Should I have a sleep study to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea?
Should I have surgery to treat obstructive sleep apnea?
tests & procedures

You doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests to evaluate your condition.

Arterial Blood Gases
Chest X-Ray
Lung Function Tests
Sleep Studies

For other tests and diagnostic procedures use the section of this site called Medical Tests A to Z .

Down Syndrome
Marfan's Syndrome


medication center
medication assistance

This section provides you with an alphabetical listing of more than 1,000 medications, including prescription drugs and those you can purchase over-the-counter. Just "click on" your medications to learn what they are used for, how to take them, special precautions, and some of the possible side effects. You can choose your medication by brand name or generic name.

Medications A-Z

If you are having difficulty paying for your medications you may qualify for financial assistance or free medications. Visit the Medication Assistance Center to learn about available medication and insurance programs.

Don't let financial problems stop you from getting the treatment you need; there are resources and organizations that may be able to help you.

additional resources

This listing provides you with Internet sites that are sponsored by government agencies or are well-known and credible national organizations.

American Lung Association

American Sleep Apnea Association

MEDLINEplus—Sleep Apnea

National Center on Sleep Disorders Research

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
National Sleep Foundation

Surfing the Internet
When looking at Internet sites, remember that the information can be sponsored by anyone. Take into account the sponsoring group or individual when gathering information or help. Be especially careful about giving out personal or financial information.

Learn more about surfing the web:

Last modified on: 30 June 2015