Sleep Apnea Specialist

South Bay Cardiovascular Center

Cardiovascular Specialist & Nuclear Cardiology located in Morgan Hill, CA

More than 25 million adults in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea increases your risk of developing a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, arrhythmia, stroke, and heart failure. Studies also show a strong link between obstructive sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation. At South Bay Cardiovascular Center in Morgan Hill, California, Anu Chirala, MD, FACC, can diagnose and treat sleep apnea so you can sleep soundly again. Before sleep apnea takes its toll on you, call or make an appointment online today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop and start breathing repeatedly. These pauses in your breathing last from a few seconds to a few minutes continuously, or a few times each hour you sleep. 

When you stop breathing, the oxygen level in your body drops, which causes your brain to do whatever is necessary to get you to start breathing again.

There are three main types of sleep apnea. The most common type of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, is caused by relaxed throat muscles.

Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn't send the correct signals to the muscles that control your breathing, while complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Dr. Chirala can determine which type of sleep apnea you have and provide a tailored treatment plan.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Some common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping or choking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Excessive daytime drowsiness

Sleep apnea is more common in men. Certain health conditions, including excess body weight, narrow airways, and a misaligned jaw, also increase your risk of developing sleep apnea.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

To diagnose sleep apnea, Dr. Chirala sets you up with a sleep study that allows you to sleep at home wearing equipment that collects information about how you breathe during sleep. 

This device monitors your heart rate, blood oxygen level, airflow, and breathing patterns looking for indications of a drop in your oxygen level.

How is sleep apnea treated?

There are several treatments for sleep apnea. If Dr. Chirala determines that you have sleep apnea, your treatment options include:

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine

A CPAP machine increases the air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn't collapse while you breathe.

Oral device

You wear this mouth guard-like device while sleeping to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. It’s quieter, more comfortable, and easier to keep clean than a CPAP machine.


Several procedures are available, all with varying degrees of success and side effects.

To learn more about the available sleep apnea treatments, call South Bay Cardiovascular Center or make an appointment online today.