Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common disorder diagnosed and treated by sleep clinics. Affecting 17 to 24 percent of men and 5 to 9 percent of women, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway is partially or completed blocked for short periods during sleep. Many individuals with obstructive sleep apnea are unaware of these breathing pauses. In many cases, their bed partners are more likely to complain of their loud snoring or gasping during sleep. Because these breathing pauses disrupt sleep, individuals with sleep apnea may feel sleepy during the day. Untreated sleep apnea may contribute to health problems such as high blood pressure and insulin resistance. The severity of an individual’s obstructive sleep apnea can be determined through an overnight sleep study, which informs clinicians of the best treatment options for the patient.
- Care at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
- Groups, Classes & Support
- Research & Clinical Trials
- Symptoms, Diagnosis & Outlook
Care at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
For patients with moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea, the most common treatment is positive airway pressure. Our clinicians may prescribe a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) device. Both devices deliver increased air pressure through a hose attached to a face mask, which keeps the airway open during sleep. For patients with obstructive sleep apnea who are overweight or obese, combining CPAP or BiPAP use with weight loss is most effective. Our clinicians can offer resources and referrals to aid in weight loss.
Some individuals with obstructive sleep apnea may complain of excessive daytime sleepiness. Medications for excessive sleepiness, such as stimulants, may be an option.
Locations where we treat the conditions listed above:
Penn State Sleep Research and Treatment Center
1214 Research Blvd., Suite 1159
Hummelstown, PA 17036
Schedule an Appointment: 717-531-8520
Departments that treat condition: Penn State Sleep Research and Treatment Center, a joint service of Pulmonary Medicine and Psychiatry
Groups, Classes & Support
The American Sleep Apnea Association’s AWAKE (Alert, Well, and Keeping Energetic) Network holds a local support group at the Penn State Hershey Sleep Research and Treatment Center. This is a patient-centered group for persons with obstructive sleep apnea. It meets quarterly and consists of lectures from sleep specialists as well as a support group for patients to share their experience with the disorder and its treatment.
For meeting times and additional information on the Sleep Apnea Support Group, please call the Penn State Sleep Research and Treatment Center at 717-531-8520.
Research & Clinical Trials
We have a commitment to improving our understanding of disease, enhancing treatment options, and working to prevent illnesses. You can help by participating.
Visit StudyFinder for information on our current clinical trials.
Symptoms, Diagnosis & Outlook
- Episodes of breathing pauses while sleeping
- Dry mouth/throat upon awakening
- Morning headache
- Daytime sleepiness