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What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is the most common sleep disorder. It causes you to stop and start breathing repeatedly as you sleep.

Snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea and is a common condition that can disrupt your sleep. The snorting, grumbling sound happens when air can't flow easily through your nose or mouth.

There are three main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea: This is the most common form, when muscles in the throat block the airway. It’s commonly referred to simply as “sleep apnea.”
  • Central sleep apnea: When the brain doesn’t send the right signals to the muscles that control your breathing.
  • Complex sleep apnea: Also known as “treatment-emergent central sleep apnea,” when someone changes from obstructive to central sleep apnea while receiving care.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Snoring loudly
  • Waking up gasping
  • Dry mouth or sore throat
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Observed episodes of breathing stopping

Causes of Sleep Apnea

Anyone can experience sleep apnea, though it is two to three times more common in men than women. There are other factors that increase your risk of sleep apnea, including:

  • Obesity
  • Older age
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Family history

Effects of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition. It can lead to:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Complications with medications and surgery

UR Medicine's Treatments for Sleep Apnea

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Your provider may do a physical exam or suggest a sleep study. Sleep studies can include:

  • Polysomnography: during this test, you will be monitored at a sleep center overnight.
  • At-home sleep test: sometimes, a version of a polysomnography can be used at home.

Treating Sleep Apnea

There are many different treatments for sleep apnea, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Sleeping on your side
  • Drinking less alcohol
  • CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) or BiPAP (Bi-level positive airway pressure)
  • Oral appliance
  • Surgery
  • Therapy to strengthen the muscles in the face and mouth

What Sets Us Apart?

We know how important quality sleep is to live your best life. As the only comprehensive sleep care center in the region, we aim to make care convenient and guide patients to the correct providers to meet their needs.

Our expert team offers a comprehensive approach to snoring and sleep apnea, ranging from conservative treatments to the latest available technology.

Patients of UR Medicine's Department of Otolaryngology also have access to a network of specialists in multiple disciplines. Our ENT physicians are trained in non-surgical and surgical treatment of diseases of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck.

Our experts perform hundreds of procedures and surgeries every year, so your care is always in the hands of well-practiced experts. Many of our physicians are involved in research to find new treatments for ENT-related conditions. All our doctors are board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.  


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

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We serve you in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

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7 locations

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Batavia
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital

7995 Call Parkway, Suite 100
Batavia, NY 14020

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Geneva

64 Elizabeth Blackwell Street, Suite A
Geneva, NY 14456

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Brighton
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital

Clinton Woods
2365 South Clinton Avenue, Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14618

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Rochester

Highland Professional Office Building
990 South Avenue, Suite 207
Rochester, NY 14620

Comprehensive Sleep Center - Brighton
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital

Westfall Park
2337 South Clinton Avenue, Building 4
Rochester, NY 14618

Comprehensive Sleep Center - Brockport
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital

Strong West
156 West Avenue
Brockport, NY 14420

Sleep Disorders Center - Canandaigua

Thompson Canandaigua Professional Center
3170 West Street, Suite 275
Canandaigua, NY 14424

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