Ear Nose And Throat Doctors
Also called otolaryngologists, these doctors specialize in diseases involving the structures inside your head and face. They can help if your airways are narrowed by the shape of a body partfor instance, if your tonsils or tongue are large compared with the opening to your windpipe, or if your airway is naturally small.;
Symptoms Others May Notice Include:
- Episodes of not breathing , which may occur as few as 5 times an hour to 30 or more times an hour . How many episodes you have determines how severe your sleep apnea is.
- Loud snoring. Almost all people who have sleep apnea snore. But not all people who snore have sleep apnea.
- Restless tossing and turning during sleep.
- Nighttime choking or gasping spells.
Final Thoughts On How Cpap Machines Help Sleep Apnea
These machines are amazing inventions that have helped millions of people around the world sleep better. As you can see from the information provided, it can be quite a process getting one thats explicitly set for your needs. It may also take some time to get used to sleeping with a mask on your face.
Dont worry. Many people adapt to using the machine with flying colors. You may have to try a few different masks before you get one thats comfortable for you, but this is an easy task once youve acquired the machine.
The most important thing is to use it consistently. You should sleep with the machine every night for the whole night to alleviate your sleep apnea. Youll be glad you did when you start waking up feeling more refreshed than ever.
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Does Your Heart Stop With Sleep Apnea
One of the many important roles of sleep is to allow the body to rest and recuperate. Heart rate and blood pressure drop during sleep as breathing becomes stable and regular. Not getting enough sleep as a result of conditions like OSA means not giving the heart and cardiovascular system this important recovery time.
Q: Can I Go Straight To The Oral Appliance And Skip The Cpap
Assuming that you have had a sleep study and you know that you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, theres no reason you shouldnt start with oral appliances for your sleep apnea.
The only reason you might not want to skip CPAP is if your insurance company wants you to try the CPAP first. Insurance companies often determine treatment plans, even if they are based on outdated science.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you have a proper sleep study performed to correctly diagnose your sleep apnea, as well as the severity.
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Contact Us For An Obstructive Sleep Apnea Consultation
If you know or suspect you have obstructive sleep apnea, find out how Dr. Katherine S. Phillips can help you find relief. Schedule an appointment today.As a board-certified sleep dentist who holds a Master of Science in Orofacial Pain, her practice is dedicated to treating sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea, as well as TMD. She will develop a customized treatment plan to best meet your individual needs.
- 5 Surprising Facts About Sleep Apnea.;https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-surprising-facts-about-sleep-apnea/
- Trends in CPAP adherence over twenty years of data collection: a flattened curve. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4992257/
Are Pulmonologists The Only Doctors Who Treat Sleep Apnea
Your sleep apnea care will likely start with your PCP who more than likely will refer you to a pulmonologista doctor that specializes in breathing disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , emphysema, and sleep-related disorders.
Pulmonologists care for the respiratory system and have their own sub-specialties. Most of these are closely tied to parts of the body, which is key in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea. Pulmonologists are commonly the ones who prescribe sleep tests, give you a diagnosis, and help you manage your sleep apnea.;
Those with pulmonary diseases such as COPD and asthma are at an increased risk for sleep-disordered breathing. If you know you have any pulmonary disease, then the odds are it could be related to your sleep apnea. Disclose any known medical conditions to your PCP to see if a referral to a pulmonologist is the best way to treat your sleep apnea.
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American Sleep Apnea Association
We envision a world in which most people suffering from sleep apnea are diagnosed, aware, educated and treated. This serious syndrome, when left untreated has a large influence on quality of life and multiple life-threatening implications. Yet it is highly treatable. Unfortunately it is estimated that more than 80% of people suffering from sleep apnea are undiagnosed. To help those living with sleep apnea, we work relentlessly to promote
The Benefits Of Using A Cpap Machine
The main benefit of using the machine is to counteract the symptoms of sleep apnea. Sure, there are other ways that you can try to get rid of sleep apnea like losing weight or not smoking anymore.
However, according to Jonathan Schwartz, M.D., the medical director of the INTEGRIS Sleep Disorders Center of Oklahoma, breathing machines are a guaranteed way to stop sleep apnea in its tracks. He adds that theyre suitable for all patients, and the devices help every time.
The most important thing to understand is that sleep apnea isnt just some breathing condition. There are serious health consequences of not taking care of sleep apnea. Unchecked, it can even lead to death.
Its safe to say that the most significant benefit of using the machine is that you wont die in your sleep.
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What Is A Sleep Apnea Specialist Called
Some family doctors may refer you to a sleep specialist, whom you now know is called a somnologist. Its understandable if you are now asking yourself: if all of those other doctors and specialists listed above are also capable of diagnosing and treating my sleep apnea, why would I have to go to a sleep specialist?
Thats a good question! The truth is, you dont have to go to a somnologist. However, a somnologist is someone who knows all about sleep apnea and sleep disorders.
Somnologists have all had additional education in the science of sleep and have passed certification exams as part of their extensive qualifications to diagnose and treat sleep disordersjust like other specialists.
Maxillomandibular Osteotomy And Advancement
This type of surgery is a treatment option for sleep apnea or patients with a small lower jaw. A small lower jaw can be called retrognathia or mandibular hypoplasia. It moves your upper and/or lower jaw forward to enlarge the space for breathing in the entire throat. The procedures involve cutting the bone of your jaws, which then heal over the course of months. Your jaws may be wired or banded shut for a few days. Your diet also will be limited for several weeks after the procedure. This surgery requires orthodontia to align the teeth to the new bite.
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Palate Procedures For Sleep Apnea
This category of sleep apnea surgeries includes uvulopalatopharyngoplasty , expansion sphincter pharyngoplasty, lateral pharyngoplasty, uvulopalatal flap, the pillar procedure, palatal advancement pharyngoplasty, z-palatoplasty, and relocation pharyngoplasty.;
In general, these procedures involve removing the tonsils and removing or repositioning of the soft palate, uvula, and soft tissues next to the palate and tonsils on the side of the throat. While each surgery for sleep apnea has its own complex process, here is a quick summary of each.
Snoring Sleeping Disorders And Sleep Apnea
Nearly half of adults snore, and over 25 percent are habitual snorers. Problem snoring and sleeping disorders are more frequent in males and people who are overweight, and usually worsens with age.
Snoring is bothersome to others, but it can also be a sign of a more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea , which is present in three percent of the general population. OSA is characterized by multiple pauses in breathing greater than 10 seconds at a time due to upper airway narrowing or collapse. This lowers the amount of oxygen in the blood, and causes the heart to work harder. Because the snorer does not get a good rest, they may be sleepy during the day, which decreases their performance. Untreated OSA can contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, workplace or motor vehicle accidents, and more.
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Q: Are Oral Appliances The Same As Dental Devices
Other names for oral appliances:
- Oral devices
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Other Sleep Apnea Treatments
ENTs can also prescribe the use of a CPAP device. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.; These devices are worn as a nasal or facial mask and keep the airways open while you breathe. Each time you inhale it creates a flow of air pressure that keeps the passages open. CPAP devices must be worn every night. They are not a cure for sleep apnea; they are a control. CPAP devices require proper fitting, including proper setting of the air pressure to work effectively.
Pillar implants can be used for mild sleep apnea. The Pillar Procedure brings stiffness to the soft palate and prevents it from vibrating and collapsing while you sleep. The ENT can insert the implants in the ENT office using a local anesthetic and you can be back at work or school the same day.
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Signs Of Sleep Disorders
- Not being able to stay asleep.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Waking up with a headache
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Trouble concentrating
The reason sleep apnea interferes with sleep so much is because as a person stops breathing, the body wakes up just enough to start the breathing process again. This means the person isnt getting enough deep sleep. Getting enough sleep is especially crucial for the human body to function correctly. Thats why CPAP machines are so important for people with sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea Exactly
Although sleep apnea can be quite serious, its possible to treat it professionally and effectively. It can be vital to treat it, as people can develop fatal health problems. Children can develop behavioral disorders too.
Sleep apnea happens when a person is sleeping and their breathing stops and starts repeatedly. Often, people dont even know that its happening unless a sleep partner points it out. It can be difficult to recognize the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, but some common ones are:
- Occasionally waking up feeling like youre gasping or choking
- Waking up feeling exhausted even after a good night of sleep
- Snoring loudly
To complicate things further, there are different types of sleep apnea you should know about.
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What Are Sleep Specialists
A sleep specialist is a doctor who diagnoses and treats sleep disorders. Most sleep specialists train in internal medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, or neurology during residency. After completing residency, they complete a fellowship program in sleep medicine.
Doctors who receive training in sleep medicine get their board certification from the American Board of Sleep Medicine, which is part of the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Sleep psychologists are another type of sleep specialist. They focus on the mental and behavioral issues that contribute to sleep problems.
Otolaryngologists, also known as ear, nose, and throat doctors, may perform procedures that address certain sleep issues, such as repairing structural problems with the nose, mouth, or throat that cause snoring and OSA.
Before you visit a sleep specialist, start by talking to your primary care healthcare provider if you:
- snore or gasp for air while you sleep
- have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night
- feel tired during the day, even if youve slept the night before
- cant perform your daily activities because youre too tired
After going over your symptoms, your primary care doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist for an evaluation. A sleep specialist can diagnose and treat sleep disorders, such as OSA, restless legs syndrome , or insomnia.
Other Possible Diagnostic Tools On The Horizon For Sleep Apnea
Doctors are currently at work trying to find tools to diagnose sleep apnea that are faster and more accurate , as well as making detection and treatment available to more people. Some possible tests on the horizon include blood, urine, and saliva tests that could be done quickly in a doctors office to diagnose sleep apnea.
These medical tests are needed to improve the diagnosis of sleep apnea and sleep disorders in general, Michael Twery, PhD, the director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, said in a 2017 news statement from the National Institutes of Health.; Potential candidate markers have been found, he said, but its going to take some time to sort out the best measures.;
Research is also under way to determine how wearable trackers such as Fitbit,;or BeddIt, a monitor you slip under your sheet to track how much you sleep, your snoring, heart rate, and breathing, could be used in the diagnosis of sleep apnea.;
Doctors caution that while these devices may provide doctors with some useful information about sleep patterns and potential abnormalities, they are not necessarily able to evaluate sleep apnea and are not substitutes for a medical diagnosis made by a physician.
And they may be counterproductive,;if people worry about how theyre performing instead of relaxing and sleeping. It can have the opposite effect in patients because they keep thinking about how theyre sleeping, Capasso says.
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Positive Airway Pressure Therapy
Positive airway pressure therapy involves using a machine that blows pressurized air into a persons airways to stop them from collapsing. The device comes with a face mask, which the person wears at night.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are several types of PAP therapy, including:
- Continuous positive airway pressure : CPAP devices blow air of the same pressure into a persons airways during inhalation and exhalation.
- Autotitrating positive airway pressure : APAP devices provide the same air pressure during inhalation and exhalation. However, the pressure can vary during episodes of sleep apnea or snoring.
- Bilevel positive airway pressure : BPAP devices blow higher pressure air into a persons airways when they breathe in, and lower pressure air when they breathe out.
How To Find Doctors For Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
When it comes to sleep apnea, most people want to start CPAP therapy quickly so they can start feeling better fast. But where do you begin? What types of doctors diagnose sleep apnea? Whats a sleep apnea doctor called? There are a lot of different types of doctors who can diagnose sleep apnea and prescribe a treatment plan.
Most people start with their primary care physician and get referred to a specialist contingent on the information provided to your family doctor. For instance, if your partner is complaining about snoring, your family doctor may refer you to a pulmonologist for treatment. However, they may not be the only doctor able to help you diagnose and treat your sleep apnea. If you think its your teeth grinding thats causing you to sleep poorly, for instance, your PCP may refer you to your dentist instead.
No matter how you slice it, starting with your PCP is usually your best start since they know your history and can send you to the right specialist, so you can start sleeping better soon.;
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Advantages Of An Oral Appliance
According to many sleep apnea patients and practitioners, oral appliances have advantages over alternative treatments for sleep apnea.
Do oral appliances really work for sleep apnea? Yes, oral appliances work for sleep apnea by bringing your jaw and tongue forward, opening up your airway so you can breathe at night.
What are the advantages of an oral appliance?
In the same way a doorstop props open a door, an oral appliance props open the airway during sleep. This is why oral appliance therapy can work great on its own or with a CPAP machine.
Oral appliance therapy has clear advantages over CPAP therapy.
CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP works by creating a continuous stream of air pressure that allows individuals with sleep disorders to breathe at night.
However, the continuous pressure makes it difficult for some to exhale. And even custom-fit CPAP masks can be uncomfortable to wear while youre asleep. Many sleep apnea patients complain that wearing a mask is embarrassing.