Home Sleep Apnea Testing

An experienced general practitioner, Dr. John Krehlik currently serves patients in Anchorage, Alaska. Since receiving certification in sleep medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine in 2009, Dr. John Krehlik has specialized in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea.

Nearly one-tenth of all Americans suffer from undiagnosed sleep apnea. To identify people with this disorder, doctors have recently begun to use home sleep apnea tests. In fact, many insurance providers now request that doctors administer home tests to patients instead of requiring them to visit a hospital or sleep center for testing, as this provides a more cost-efficient method of diagnosis.

Practitioners will conduct a home sleep test if a patient shows any of the symptoms that point to obstructive sleep apnea, including insomnia, snoring, and high blood pressure. The sleep test is simple and requires only a few steps. Before bed, patients secure the testing sensors to their bodies and activate the device, which records data as they sleep. Upon collecting the testing information, practitioners send the data off for analysis. Patients normally receive results within a few weeks.


An Explanation of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Dr. John Krehlik has practiced sleep medicine for more than 30 years. In that time, Dr. John Krehlik has introduced many patients to the potential benefits of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

Designed to keep the throat open during sleep, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment depends on a machine that provides a steady stream of air. The machine runs on a motor that sends air through a tube, which in turn connects to a mask that fits over the patient’s nose and mouth or nose alone. The type of mask depends on the patient’s needs and preferences, though the nasal mask is the most common.

Physicians most often prescribe this treatment for chronic obstructive sleep apnea, though research has shown that it can also effectively treat infants with underdeveloped lungs, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or respiratory distress syndrome. When used to treat sleep apnea, it can decrease blood pressure as well as daytime sleepiness. It is typically effective in controlling snoring and preserving quality of sleep for both the patient and his or her household, while also protecting some sleep apnea patients against heart conditions that arise secondary to coronary artery disease.

What Causes Snoring?

Since 2003, Dr. John Krehlik has served patients in Alaska through his private practice, where he accepts clients by appointment every day of the week. Drawing on over three decades of experience in the medical field, Dr. John Krehlik specializes in treatment of sleep apnea and snoring.

Sounds come from vibrations causing air particles to become sound waves. During sleep, the airways can become restricted and cause vibrations that result in what we know as snoring. While snoring can be the result of a cold or other virus, medications, and alcohol consumption, a more serious cause is obstructive sleep apnea.

Snoring that results from sleep apnea means the airways have become physically restricted. Often the soft palate blocks the back of the throat because the back of the tongue has collapsed against it. If this blockage causes a person to stop breathing for at least 10 seconds, he or she has sleep apnea. Those who suspect they may suffer from sleep apnea should see a sleep specialist, as sleep apnea can affect daily life and even be life-threatening.

Treating Sleep Apnea with CPAP

An Alaska sleep apnea specialist, Dr. John Krehlik maintains offices in Anchorage, Wasilla, and Juneau. He became the first general internist in the state to receive board certification in sleep medicine. In his treatment of sleep apnea, Dr. John Krehlik employs the latest machines for CPAP.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include snoring and pauses in breathing while sleeping at night and tiredness, headaches, sleepiness, and high blood pressure during the day. Obesity can also be connected to sleep apnea, as can medical conditions such as depression, heart disease, hypertension, and strokes.

Once diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, a patient has a variety of different treatment options. One of these options, CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, treats those with moderate to severe sleep apnea. It remains the most popular treatment.

The patient undergoing CPAP treatment sleeps with a mask placed over the nose and/or the mouth. This mask provides air at a slightly higher pressure than the surrounding air, thereby keeping open the airway passages, which might otherwise close.

Sleep Apnea – Treatable after Correct Diagnosis

Board-certified in sleep medicine and internal medicine, Dr. John Krehlik provides comprehensive diagnoses and treatment of sleep disorders. Dr. John Krehlik has earned a reputation as Alaska’s top sleep physician, with expert knowledge of sleep apnea. A treatable condition, sleep apnea occurs when breathing involuntarily ceases during sleep.

Individuals with sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of times per night, with each instance lasting one minute or more. Without proper treatment, sleep apnea can result in serious conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Often, individuals with sleep apnea snore loudly during sleep and experience persistent sleepiness throughout the day. Other symptoms include waking up out of breath in the middle of the night or waking up with a dry mouth or headache in the morning. However, since patients’ symptoms vary, consulting a sleep specialist is critical to obtaining a correct diagnosis.

After diagnosis, a sleep specialist can recommend effective treatment options for individuals with sleep apnea. Positive airway pressure machines with breathing masks are one of the most common sleep apnea treatments, but other options include oral appliances and upper airway stimulation therapy.

Effects of Snoring

A board-certified sleep physician, Dr. John Krehlik has treated numerous patients who present with snoring. Dr. John Krehlik uses a comprehensive evaluation procedure to determine the root cause of the symptom and work toward eliminating its effects.

An inconvenient and often dangerous issue, snoring affects up to 45 percent of adults in the United States. Although some perceive it as a simple annoyance, it signals an obstruction to the airway during sleep. The sound that bedmates and roommates hear is the vibrating of the tongue and upper throat against the soft palate and uvula as the airway closes and opens again. The cause of this collapse can range from a stuffed nose to a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea causes the upper airway to narrow and collapse multiple times during sleep. When the airway closes entirely, the patient wakes abruptly and begins to breathe again. Though he or she does not notice the episode, it can happen up to 300 times per night and lead to excessive daytime sleepiness. Sleep testing can determine whether a snoring patient suffers from obstructive sleep apnea or from one of snoring’s more structurally based causes, such as a deviated septum or excess soft tissue at the neck and throat.

Common Causes of Snoring

Since 2009, Dr. John Krehlik has served the Anchorage, Alaska community as a board-certified physician specializing in various sleep issues and disorders. Patients of Dr. John Krehlik may receive a home sleep test in order to diagnose sleep apnea or other causes of snoring.

Snoring occurs when an individual’s airway has, for some reason, relaxed, narrowed, or even collapsed. Once the airway has narrowed, a person’s breathing will become louder and more forceful as it travels through the compressed air passage. This can be caused by external factors or ongoing issues inside the body. For example, consumption of alcohol, particularly later in the evening, can cause the throat muscles to become overly relaxed and allow for airway obstructions that would normally be repelled.

Ongoing or temporary nasal congestion can also lead to a night—or many nights—of snoring. A deviated nasal septum is especially likely to bring about snoring. However, the causes behind snoring are not always so banal. Sleep apnea, for example, is a potentially serious health issue in which a person’s airway tissue can partially or completely block the air path. In extreme cases, sleep apnea can prevent a person from breathing altogether.