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.

The Benefits of Home Sleep Testing

The only board-certified sleep physician living in Southeast Alaska, Dr. John Krehlik provides high-quality sleep medicine care to patients out of his own sleep medicine practice in Anchorage. Dedicated to treating and diagnosing sleep apnea and snoring quickly, Dr. John Krehlik works closely with all health providers throughout the state to evaluate snoring symptoms through the use of home sleep testing.

Home sleep testing allows for several benefits while still providing accurate information to physicians trying to diagnose snoring and sleepiness symptoms. One benefit is comfort. Patients undergoing normal sleep testing must often sleep in a new place, and sleeping in a new bed while they are being observed makes it difficult for some patients to feel comfortable. Home sleep testing allows patients to sleep in the privacy of their own home, ensuring they do not miss out on a good night’s sleep. It also does not require patients to be hooked up to as many sensors, requiring only a small device wrapped around the chest or a sensor on the finger or nose.

Since the tests can be completed at home, patients do not have to drive far or miss work. The devices are often delivered to a patient’s doorstep and offer 24/7 technical support lines should any problems arise. Patients then simply mail back the device and wait to hear the results from their physician. Home sleep testing also decreases cost by allowing patients to save gas and avoid co-payment at the doctor’s office. Many insurance companies also pay for home sleep testing in full, whereas in-lab testing is not always covered entirely.

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Study Finds Link between Sleep Apnea and Lower Exercise Capacity

One of the most trusted physicians in Alaska, Dr. John Krehlik functions out of his own sleep medicine practice in Anchorage, where he specializes in treating snoring and sleep apnea. Dr. John Krehlik provides a wide range of services, including sleep therapy, physical exams, and CPAP therapy and is committed to helping patients understand how undiagnosed sleep apnea may affect their daily lives.

A recent study led by the University of California, San Diego, found that individuals who suffer from sleep apnea may lack the capability to burn high levels of oxygen during aerobic exercise. The disorder has already been linked to a higher risk of stroke, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and heart disease, and many researchers believe that VO2 max, or peak VO2, a measure of exercise capacity, is an early marker of increased stroke and heart attack risk. VO2, which is measured during cardiopulmonary exercise testing, refers to the maximum oxygen burned by an individual during strenuous exercise.

The study found that individuals with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea had up to 14 percent lower levels of peak oxygen uptake while exercising when compared to individuals without the disorder. Seen among patients with similar body mass indices, this effect indicated that obesity is not necessarily linked to the lower levels of oxygen uptake. Based on these results, researchers believe that sleep apnea is also linked to an impaired exercise capacity; however, further research is still needed.

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An Introduction to Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Dr. John Krehlik stands out as the only board-certified sleep physician in southeast Alaska and the first internal medicine physician statewide to secure this certification. Dr. John Krehlik has owned and practiced at a private sleep medicine practice in Juneau since 2002 and maintains affiliated sleep clinics across the state.

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of apnea, stems from a blockage of the upper airway while the patient sleeps. Depending on whether this blockage is complete or partial, the patient may have difficulty breathing or cease breathing altogether. Either of these manifestations causes the lower respiratory system to overcompensate and overwork to draw air into the lungs. When this happens, the patient often awakes abruptly with a loud gasp or snort as breathing resumes. The patient typically resumes sleeping almost immediately, but since the process tends to repeat itself, the patient tends to experience excessive daytime sleepiness or irritability.

A condition that affects more than 12 million people in the United States today, sleep apnea tends to occur more often in men than women and becomes more common as a patient ages. More than half of sleep apnea patients are overweight, though congenital issues, such as an excess of tissue at the back of the throat, may also serve as contributing factors. Patients with thicker necks or narrower airways are also more likely to develop the condition.

Dr. Krehlik works closely with all health providers across the entire state of Alaska to diagnose and treat snoring and apnea. A simple device makes it easy to be tested for sleep apnea in the comfort of your own home. Please visit for more information.

Benefits of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure – CPAP

The only board-certified sleep medicine specialist in southeast Alaska, Dr. John Krehlik has been treating patients for disorders such as sleep apnea since 1984. Dr. John Krehlik advocates the use of home sleep testing to help evaluate the quality of sleep. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is recognized as one of the most effective therapies for sleep apnea. This involves the patient wearing a mask to ensure open airways.

Below are a few of the benefits of CPAP.

Reduced snoring – Since the CPAP helps to keep airways open during sleep, this will help to cut down – or eliminate altogether – the sound of snoring. This will lead to a quieter and better night of sleep for all parties.

Alertness during waking hours – As sleep apnea causes fatigue and sleepiness during the day, one of the direct effects of CPAP is better sleep at night, which in turn allows for heightened alertness during the day.

Regulated breathing – With CPAP regulating breathing, the elimination of sudden disruptions in breathing should yield a continuous and more enjoyable night of sleep. Better sleep will also help reduce the adverse effects of aging, hypertension, and diabetes.

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Home Sleep Testing

A physician experienced in sleep medicine, Dr. John Krehlik has served the residents of Alaska for more than 30 years. In addition to providing a range of services at his sleep medicine clinics in the state, Dr. John Krehlik offers home sleep testing as an option for diagnosing conditions such as sleep apnea.

A relatively common disorder, sleep apnea can often go undiagnosed for a long time. For many individuals, home sleep testing is a convenient and affordable way to find out if they are among those living with sleep apnea.

During a home sleep test, a person remains attached to a monitoring device that measures factors such as airflow, breathing effort, blood oxygen levels, head and neck movement, and snoring sounds. Individuals best suited for home tests are those between 18 and 65 years of age who have a high risk for sleep apnea, and no other major health issues or sleep disorders. Currently, home sleep testing is covered by many insurance plans, including Premera and Aetna.