Treatment of Sleep Apnea

Adult Sleep Assessment / Epworth Scale

Bed Partner Witness Questionnaire

 

h-snoringWhat is Sleep Apnea? 

Sleep apnea is condition in which you breathing stops periodically during sleep, as many as 20-30 times per hour. Each time you stop breathing in your sleep, the resulting lack of oxygen alerts your brain, which temporarily wakes you up to restart proper breathing. Since the time spent awake is so brief, most people with sleep apnea don’t remember it, and many feel like they are getting a good night’s sleep when, in fact, they are not. The constant drowsy feeling during the day.
 
What are the signs of sleep apnea? 
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems:
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke 
  • Heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • Depression 
  • Worsening of ADHD
  • Headaches 
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping 
  • Loud snoring at night 
  • Falling asleep unintentionally during the day
  • Extreme drowsiness throughout the day 
In addition, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents. 
 
Am I at risk for sleep apnea? 
Sleep apnea can affect anyone at anyone at age, even children. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:
  • Being male 
  • Overweight
  • Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD 
  • Nasal obstructions due to deviated septum, allergies or sinus problems
Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in males then females, and more common in older adults (40+) than younger adults and children. However, anyone-regardless of gender or age- can suffer from sleep apnea. Other risk factors include obesity, smoking, drinking, use of sedatives or tranquilizers, and family history. Central sleep apnea strikes most often in people with heart disorders, neuromuscular disorders, stroke, or brain tumors. 
 
How is sleep treated?
Treatment for sleep apnea depends on the severity of each individual case, and the type of apnea. Basic treatment can be behavioral- for instance, patient are instructed to lose weight, stop smoking, or sleep on their sides instead of on their backs. Beyond that, an oral device can be used to position the mouth in such a way that prevents throat blockage. In more severe cases, surgery may be the best option. 
 
What should I do if I suspect that someone in my family suffers from sleep apnea?
Contact us at Hayden & Kohlmeier Orthodontics and complete the two questionnaires at the top of this page.  Depending on your situation, treatment may involve a referral to a sleep lab for an overnight sleep study (PSG), a home sleep test (HST) and/or an oral appliance that we can customize just for you