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


  • Snoring
  • Episodes of breathing pauses while sleeping

Also common: 

  • Dry mouth/throat upon awakening
  • Morning headache
  • Daytime sleepiness


Diagnosis is made via an overnight sleep study. Special equipment will be applied to the body to monitor breathing throughout the night, and apnea severity is determined by the number of breathing pauses per hour of sleep. An index of 30 or more breathing pauses per hour is considered to be “severe.” A lower index may also require treatment, particularly if sleep apnea is accompanied with daytime sleepiness or other health problems.

Outlook & Prognosis

CPAP and BiPAP devices are effective in lessening the severity of obstructive sleep apnea, when used correctly. For many overweight patients with sleep apnea, adopting a weight loss regimen, including a healthy diet and regular exercise, is also beneficial.

We can help

To schedule an appointment, please call