Everything to Know About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea (also spelt as sleep apnoea) is not just snoring or feeling tired during the day – it is a serious medical condition.

Sleep apnea is a serious but common sleep disorder that causes your breathing to become shallow or stop completely during sleep. In some cases, this pause in breathing can last 10 seconds or longer and it can occur 30 times or more in an hour.

According to American Journal of Epidemiology in data published on May 1 of 2013, 30 million people in the United States have sleep apnea. This report suggests that the disorder is significantly more prevalent in men, affecting approximately 14 percent of males and five percent of females.

All sleep apnea is characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing, but the underlying cause of the breathing interruptions vary.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, and it occurs when there is a partial or complete obstruction of the airway.

When we sleep, the muscles in our body, including those in our throat, naturally become relaxed. Normally, the airway remains open enough for air to enter freely during sleep. But in cases of obstructive sleep apnea, your airway is too narrow (sometimes because of the way you are born and other times because body weight creates extra fat deposits in the throat), and when you relax your muscles in your sleep, the tissues in the back of your throat can block your airway.

This airway blockage can cause loud snoring, snorting, or gasping for air during sleep (though not everyone with obstructive sleep apnea snores and not everyone who snores has sleep apnea).

Central sleep apnea occurs when something goes awry with the brain’s normal signaling to muscles that control breathing in the body, causing breathing to repeatedly stop or become very shallow.

Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, which is caused by a physical blockage, central sleep apnea is a neurological problem.

People who have central sleep apnea often have an illness or condition that affects the brainstem, which is the area of the brain that controls breathing. Health conditions linked to central sleep apnea include Parkinson’s disease, stroke, heart failure, or brain infection. Certain medications that interfere with how well the brain sends signals to muscles, such as sedatives, opioids, or benzodiazepines, can also play a role in central sleep apnea, says Dr. Capasso.

Complex sleep apnea syndrome happens when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea at the same time.

People who have this type of sleep apnea often seem at first to have only obstructive sleep apnea; but when they are treated for that condition (usually a breathing machine that gently pushes air into your airway during sleep using a mask that fits over your nose and mouth) and their sleep apnea doesn’t improve as much as expect, doctors realize that there is also central sleep apnea present.

Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Being male
  • Being overweight
  • Being over age 40
  • Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
  • Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea
  • Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
  • Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems

Symptoms of sleep apnoea

People with significant sleep apnoea have an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents and high blood pressure, and may have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. In the over-30 age group, the disorder is about three times more common in men than women. Some of the associated symptoms include:

  • daytime sleepiness, fatigue and tiredness
  • poor concentration
  • irritability and mood changes
  • impotence and reduced sex drive
  • need to get up to toilet frequently at night.

What is the Smart Sinus Procedure™?

The following are the benefits of Smart Sinus Procedure®:

Safe – The Smart Sinus Procedure™ is very safe with greater than 150,000 already treated and living better quality of life. The balloon approach is far less invasive and risky than traditional sinus surgery.

Proven – Studies show satisfaction rate of 95% (1)–virtually no other procedure in ANY field can match this!

Fast -Recovery is quick with most patients resuming normal activities the day after the procedure.

The Smart Sinus Procedure® is a minimally invasive treatment for patients suffering from chronic sinusitis who have failed maximal medical therapy including antibiotics and oral steroids. But what is the Smart Sinus Procedure anyway and how is it different?

The Smart Sinus Procedure® was actually invented by the same scientist behind balloon angioplasty, the procedure used to open up clogged vessels in the heart. Balloon angioplasty has replaced the need, in many cases, for open heart surgery. Similarly, the Smart Sinus Procedure™ utilizes a balloon technology that replaces traditional sinus surgery. The Smart Sinus Procedure is used by ENT doctors to gently dilate open up clogged sinuses that result in the miserable symptoms of chronic sinusitis.

While traditional sinus surgery is still effective, it can be quite traumatic for patients because of significant down time and discomfort continuing for weeks after the surgery. The Smart Sinus Procedure™ is done in the office and patients can easily resume normal activities the day after the procedure. There is typically an immediate improvement in symptoms and quality of life. The Smart Sinus Procedure has been shown to be as effective as traditional sinus surgery with over 95 percent patient satisfaction at one year.


ORIOS I, office – based dilation, Data on file at Acclarent.

What Our Patients Are Saying

Mitch Cohen

Lynn Cohen I have never met a medical staff that was so thoughtful and so thorough! I am amazed after 1 month how my sinus problems have had so much improvement! I am so pleased with my results! Thank you so much Smart Sinus.

Read More Testimonials

William Kimberley

These people did a very professional job. The results are amazing only after one week. I can breath again like I did when I was younger. The experience was very good also. Quite simple, follow the directions and the procedure turned out good also. A+.

Read More Testimonials

Alina Valencia

OMG!! Amazing results from this procedure! I have been a sinus sufferer over the past 15 years and I can’t believe a 30 minute procedure changed that. I will admit I was a little skeptical when I saw the commercial on T.V. but at that point in my life I was desperate for a change.

Read More Testimonials

M. Elaine Fortineaux

I had so many ear infections, pressure and dis comfort that I didn’t think there was help for me but after having the procedure I could breathe and the pressure released from my ears. The staff is great everyone is professional as friendly and ready to help you feel better.

Read More Testimonials

Ryan Russell

I’m so happy that my wife & I decided to come and have a free consultation at Smart Sinus & Allergy. Ever since my procedure I am able to breathe easier & I don’t find myself experiencing the sinus problems I once had. No need further need for Breathe Right Strips!

Read More Testimonials

Antonio Huffman

My Grandfather came to Smart Sinus and Allergy after suffering many years with sinus issues. His nose would drip constantly and he lived on nasal spray. He has not had any issues after the surgery. He is so grateful to Smart Sinus. He said ” Smart Sinus changed my life”! …

Read More Testimonials

Marcia Kozel

Professional, quality. Very patient oriented to other senstive medical issues. You get a sense of participating in your own healthcare needs. Clogged up sinus cavities and stuffy forehead. Tired. These are the issues I have faced before the procedure. Since having this procedure I have terrific relief.

Read More Testimonials

Smart Sinus Patient Videos

How it Works

  • SmartSinus: Step1
    Step 1
    A balloon catheter is inserted into the inflamed sinus.
  • SmartSinus: Step2
    Step 2
    The balloon is inflated to expand the sinus opening.
  • SmartSinus: Step3
    Step 3
    Saline is sprayed into the inflamed sinus to flush out the pus and mucus.
  • SmartSinus: Step4
    Step 4
    The system is removed, leaving the sinuses open.

Smart Sinus Procedure Helps Her Get Her Life Back!

The Smart Sinus procedure has helped literally thousands of people overcome debilitating chronic sinusitis symptoms including this young massage therapist!

Many times, sinus pressure is misdiagnosed as migraine headaches as it was in this young woman. The problem is that most doctors do not appreciate the complexity of sinus disease and all the different ways it can manifest. Facial pressure and/or pain in the eyes, cheeks, and forehead are all common symptoms of sinusitis. There are many other possible symptoms as well including: nasal congestion, postnasal drip, loss of smell, facial pressure during flying or diving, or even bad breath. Not everyone has the same symptoms. If you think you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis, don’t let anyone tell you that the only thing you can do is continue taking antibiotics and nasal sprays. The smart sinus procedure utilizes balloon technology that literally dilates open sinus openings to restore the harmony between the sinuses and the outside world helping the sinuses to clear infection and to equalize pressure. As was the case with this young woman, a 30 minute outpatient procedure can literally help you get your life back! Call us today and make and appointment with our sinus doctors!

Smart Sinus Procedure Reviews: Winifred

The smart sinus procedure is transforming the lives of people every day.

In this video, Winifred shows that your never too old to improve your quality of life. She is 80 years old and this is a little video of her less than one week after having her smart sinus procedure to help her with her lifelong battle with her sinus problems. Chronic sinusitis is a problem for people of all ages and Winifred shows that you’re never to old to take action. Now… as for shoveling your own driveway at 80 years old–well that’s pretty darn impressive. Watch this video.

If you have been suffering with sinus problems and have not found a permanent solution, call us today for a consultation. It could change your life!

Schedule Your Appointment!

Leave this empty:

Preferred Appointment Date

 Add to newsletter

Download ENT Registration Forms

Chicago Office

1321 Tower Road, Unit A,
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Start Navigation

Call Us: 847-305-2880

Office Hours

Monday – Friday (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)

Oklahoma Office

13908 Quailbrook Dr, Quailbrook Medical Center BLDG C
Oklahoma City, OK 73134
Start Navigation

Call us: 405-562-5888

Office Hours

Monday – Friday (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)