Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea San Diego | Silenso Clinic

Sleep is one of the crucial functions of the body. From memory consolidation to mental and physical rejuvenation, we need uninterrupted sleep every single night.

Over 50 million US adults experience some form of sleep disorder, ranging from chronic snoring to sleep apnea. These conditions significantly impact the quality of one’s sleep, affecting concentration, clarity, memory recall, and mental and physical performance.

If you wake up feeling drowsy and irritable despite getting a full night’s sleep, Dr. Schalch Lepe has the solution to your problems. Obstructive sleep apnea is a treatable condition, and after treatment, patients experience a more peaceful, deeper, more rejuvenating sleep. 

Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe, a board-certified otolaryngologist and sleep medicine specialist, excels in treating patients with chronic air passage conditions that prevent them from breathing and sleeping properly. Many of his patients also come to him frustrated with continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) devices, looking for an alternative.

Using the latest medical, technological, and surgical techniques, Dr. Schalch Lepe brings his guests a more peaceful and restful night’s sleep.

Learn more about treatments for obstructive sleep apnea in San Diego, CA, by reading on or scheduling a consultation with Dr. Schalch Lepe. Silenso Clinic is located in Carmel Valley in North San Diego County and serves many communities throughout the greater San Diego area, including La Jolla, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, Coronado, Eastlake, Chula Vista, Rancho Santa Fe, and more.  

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) refers to a condition where the airway becomes obstructed, leading to breathlessness (apnea = without breath). 

Woman sleeping

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the temporary relaxation of muscles that support your airway’s soft tissues. When the muscles controlling your throat, tongue, and soft palate temporarily relax, the airway becomes constricted and can even be sealed off. This, in turn, makes breathing labored or completely cuts off the airway. 

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs on a spectrum from mild to life-threatening. In mild obstructive sleep apnea, the relaxation of the muscles and soft tissue is enough to cause air traveling through the airway to create vibrations of the soft tissues, resulting in snoring.

In increasingly severe obstructive sleep apnea cases, the airway can become wholly sealed off, with the patient asleep and completely unaware that they have stopped breathing. Some patients may stop breathing in their sleep for 5-10 seconds, with others facing prolonged episodes without getting enough oxygen into their bodies.

How Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affect Me?

The effects of OSA are significant, regardless of the severity of the patient’s condition. All patients with OSA get restricted levels of oxygen to their brains and body as they sleep. This lack of oxygen compromises one’s sleep quality, impacting performance throughout the day, mood, and quality of life. For patients experiencing mild OSA, which leads to snoring, people sleeping in proximity to the patient may also experience disturbed sleep. 

For patients with more severe forms of OSA, the breath cessation durations can be potentially life-threatening. OSA has also been linked to the following medical conditions:

  • Hypertension
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Motor vehicle accidents (caused by impaired cognitive function and and excessive sleepiness)
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Memory loss and difficulty concentrating

Because OSA impacts our sleep, it can have drastic impacts on our lives and overall health. One of the main problems with OSA is that the majority of people with the condition don’t even realize they have it.

How Prevalent is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

OSA is far more common than people expect. Here are several interesting and potentially alarming statistics regarding OSA:

How Do I Know If I Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Diagnosing OSA is difficult, especially if you live or sleep alone. If you have a partner willing to listen to you sleep, then you might be able to identify periods when you stop breathing or snore excessively, which are tell-tale signs of sleep apnea.

Other ways of seeing if you’re experiencing OSA are to look at your symptoms. If you’re experiencing one or more of the following, it is worth consulting with a sleep specialist to get a proper diagnosis:

  • Sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Morning headaches
  • Morning dry mouth
  • Morning sore throat
  • Low libido
  • Frequent urination at night
  • Nasal obstruction

If you suspect you are experiencing OSA, we recommend consulting Dr. Schalch Lepe, at which point he will likely recommend a home sleep study, using various portable devices such as WatchPAT ®, Sleep Image ® or Night Owl ®. These at-home tests measure your breathing, oxygen levels, body position, sleep stages, snoring intensity and other factors as you sleep, in order to get a good picture of what is happening during the night.

Depending on the results of this test, there are several different treatment options available.

portrait photo of Dr. Schalch Lepe

Better Breathing Starts Today

Specializing in the treatment of a variety of conditions (deviated septum, nasal obstruction, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, etc.),  Dr. Schalch Lepe is highly qualified and motivated to provide his patients with the best possible treatment results. Dr. Schalch Lepe takes an in-depth, personalized approach with each patient to ensure they receive the best possible treatment for their situation.

Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Schalch Lepe has the unique perspective of having trained in multiple countries. This experience has led him to be sought out by domestic and international patients, many of whom are Mexican ex-pats living throughout San Diego County and Southern California.

How Will Dr. Schalch Lepe Treat My Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

There are various approaches to treating OSA, and treatment often requires a multifaceted approach. Depending on the patient’s circumstances, Dr. Schalch Lepe may treat OSA with minimally invasive procedures, surgery, and home testing devices before and after treatment.

Continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) treatment is always an option for those with OSA. However, many patients find the machine cumbersome and uncomfortable, which can also detract from sleep quality. If you find you’re not responding well to CPAP treatment, consider one of the following:

A customized mouth guard sits in your mouth during sleep, which keeps the lower jaw forward and holds the airway open. Dr Schalch Lepe is a founding partner of the Pneusomnia Clinic (link), which provides a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to sleep disorders as well as the cutting-edge Vivos ® system for maxillary expansion.

This device is surgically implanted beneath your clavicle and uses electrical impulses to stimulate the hypoglossal nerve. Simulation of your hypoglossal nerve moves the tongue and throat muscles into a position that helps open the airway and keeps it from collapsing.

Minimally-invasive surgery can be an effective additional or alternative treatment for patients with OSA, including procedures such as AIRLIFT hyoid suspension, which can permanently restructure the tissues surrounding the airway to improve better airflow, breathing, and sleep quality.

To address nasal obstruction in patients using oral appliances or CPAP to manage their OSA.

What can I Expect Before, During, and After My Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment?

The first step in treating OSA is to diagnose the condition properly. Dr. Schalch Lepe offers at-home consultation to ensure his patients receive the most comfortable and accurate treatment possible. You can arrange your at-home consultation, and Dr. Schalch Lepe will come to your home to help diagnose the condition.

Before

The first step in treating OSA is to diagnose the condition properly. Dr. Schalch Lepe offers personalized consultations to ensure his patients receive the most comfortable and accurate treatment possible. At home testing with the latest, cutting-edge sleep monitoring devices (WatchPAT, Sleep Image, NightOwl) can be arranged, or you may be referred to a sleep testing facility if indicated. Diagnosis is obtained accurately and efficiently, which allows Dr Schalch Lepe to make treatment recommendations immediately.

During

The appropriate course of action will depend on each patient and often include several different approaches to comprehensively treat your condition.

After

Patients can expect follow-ups from Dr. Schalch Lepe to ensure treatment has been successful and monitor recovery progress.

Relief from Sleep Apnea in San Diego, CA

If you or your partner suffer from snoring, lousy sleep, or feeling unrested despite getting a good night’s rest, then you might be experiencing some form of sleep apnea. In most cases, obstructive sleep apnea is the reason leading to your disturbed sleep, and a diagnosis can positively change your sleep and quality of life.

Treating sleep conditions takes specialty training and expertise, and Dr. Schalch Lepe is a leading sleep and snoring treatment expert. Offering personalized consultations, thorough treatment plans, and a comprehensive follow-up schedule, Dr. Schalch Lepe puts his patients first. Call (858) 925-5800 or fill out our online form to begin your journey towards a better life today.