Sleep Apnea Treatment & Diagnosis

OVERVIEW

Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder in which the individual stops breathing in several repeated pauses. As a sleep apnea patient, you will wake up tired and groggy in the morning after a night’s sleep. Sleep apnea treatment is used to help patients overcome loud snoring and breathing blockages during sleep.

TYPES OF SLEEP APNEA 

This sleeping disorder is categorized into three types based on different causes. They are as follows:

Obstructive Sleep apnea

This is the most common type of sleep apnea which occurs when the muscles of the throat relax.

Central Sleep apnea

The central sleep apnea is caused by the brain’s inability to send appropriate signals to muscles that are responsible for controlling breathing.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Just as how the name suggests, this is the amalgamation of both obstructive and central sleep apnea. It is also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

It is reported that about 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea with 80% having undiagnosed moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. This is the most common type of sleeping disorder in the US.

Sleep apnea is caused by the repeated blockage of the upper airway which partially or completely obstructs the airflow during sleep. It can also be caused by the brain’s incorrect signals to the muscles that are responsible for controlling breathing.

Physicians carry out Sleep Apnea Diagnosis through different sleep studies that help record and assess the intervals of stopped breathing. These studies also help observe and evaluate the oxygen levels in the bloodstream during the sleep apnea episodes.

If you snore loudly or have trouble breathing during sleep, it’s better to consult your family physician for Sleep Apnea Testing Near Auburn.

Timely diagnosis and treatment will cure and relieve the symptoms and help prevent other complications such as heart problems.

Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Repeated pauses in breathing
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Headaches and excessive tiredness
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime sleepiness/ hypersomnia
  • Unable to focus while awake
  • Frustration & irritability

Not everyone who snores is not inevitably a patient of sleep apnea. It’s better to consult the professional advice of your doctor.

Diagnosis

There are several ways to diagnose sleep apnea and your doctor may carry out sleep studies to evaluate your condition. It’s better to consult sleep specialists that offer consultations and treatment at sleep disorder centers.

Individuals complaining of sleep apnea are called over for overnight sleep tests. These tests involve monitoring of your breathing patterns and other responses in your body during sleep. Sometimes home sleep tests are also scheduled to detect sleep apnea.

Following are some of the most common types of diagnosis for sleep apnea:

Nocturnal Polysomnography

This is a type of diagnosis which involves the fastening of various monitoring equipment with the human body. This type of equipment helps observe lungs and brain activity, breathing patterns, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and upper and lower limb movements.

Home Sleep Tests

These are the types of diagnostic tests that help monitor heartbeat, blood oxygen level, and breathing patterns to identify sleep apnea.

Since not all portable monitoring devices are advanced enough to detect sleep apnea, you may be referred for further testing like polysomnography.

On the confirmation of the disorder, you may be referred to an ENT specialist, a cardiologist or a neurologist to treat extreme cases.

TREATMENT

For less severe cases, patients are recommended a set of lifestyle changes, like quitting narcotics. You may also be referred to an allergy doctor to treat nasal allergies.

Extreme sleep apnea calls for several therapies and surgeries. There are several devices available in the market to cure blocked airways.

Therapies To Cure Severe Sleep Apnea

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

Patients with severe sleep apnea are recommended machines with a mask that you can wear during sleep. The CPAP device applies a stronger air pressure than the surrounding atmospheric pressure. This pressure helps the upper airway passages to stay open to prevent snoring and apnea.

The machine and the mask may appear to be an uncomfortable fit in the first few days, but you’ll be able to get around that feeling. You can adjust the straps to suit your comfortable position.

Contact your doctor if you happen to start snoring again during the treatment or after it.

Oral Appliances

Patients are also recommended to wear oral devices that help keep the throat open. Though this type of device is not as effective as a CPAP, it can provide much greater comfort. It can help relieve loud snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea.

Patients have the freedom to choose from a wide variety of devices that can be procured from a dentist. You can follow up with your dentist and doctor to keep track of everything. 

Types of Surgery

This is the last resort to help cure severe sleep apnea. A three-month trial of basic medications is recommended before opting for surgery. Some common surgical procedures include:

  • Tissue Removal

This type of surgical procedure involves the removal of adenoids and tonsils. The surgeon also removes the top of the throat and rear of your mouth.

It is not the most practical recommendation and is proven to be less reliable than a CPAP to cure obstructive sleep apnea.

  • Tissue Shrinkage

With the use of radiofrequency ablation, the tissues of the back of the mouth are shrunk to cure mild to moderate sleep apnea. It is less risky than tissue removal but with similar results.

  • Jaw Repositioning

The technique of maxillomandibular advancement is used to reposition the jaw to move it forward from the rest of the facial bones. This provides more space for less obstruction behind the tongue.

  • Nerve Stimulation

A never stimulator is surgically inserted inside the hypoglossal nerve which controls the tongue movement. It helps keep the tongue in the rightful position to allow the airways to stay clear and open.

  • Tracheostomy

Tracheostomy is only recommended in acute and life-threatening sleep apnea.

This is the most critical form of surgical procedure in which the surgeon cuts an opening in the neck and insert a plastic or metal tube to create a new air passage for breathing.

Lifestyle Changes & Self-Care

You may be recommended a set of self-care tips and guidelines to help you cure obstructive and central sleep apnea. Following tips may prove fruitful to help ease the sleeping disorder:

Maintain A Healthy Weight

If you happen to be obese it is recommended to lose weight slightly to maintain a healthy weight which can greatly help.

Build Up Your Stamina

It is highly recommended to exercise regularly to help fight off the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Even a brisk walk for a couple of minutes would be sufficient.

Sleeping Position

We advise you to sleep on your side or on the abdomen to avoid air blockages which may occur if you sleep on your back.

Quit Smoking

Smoking greatly affects the state and severity of your sleep apnea. It is highly effective if you quit smoking.

No Sedatives, Sleeping Pills Or Alcohol

Sedatives and sleeping pills happen to relax the muscles in the rear throat which may cause trouble breathing while sleeping.

CONCLUSION

Though sleep apnea is not quite life-threatening, if left untreated it may give rise to several other cardiovascular complications. You should consult your doctor for timely identification of the disorder, and for professional counseling to help cope with it.

How Auburn SleepMed is Helping Patients with Sleep Disorder

Our sleep center is a topnotch medical facility where people of all age groups arrive who are suffering from sleep disorders, and looking for some professional help. Our trained physicians offer you superlative services and provide assistance in getting rid of your condition as soon as possible. Sleep center is equipped with cutting edge apparatus and fully functional labs where sleep studies occur.

The whole procedure beings with the diagnosis of the particular sleep disorder followed by an effective range of therapies and medications pertinent to your condition. Before moving on and shedding light upon how does our sleep center can assist you in diagnosis and treatments of your condition it is crucial to have a quick glance on what sleep disorders really are.

What Are Sleep Disorders and Which Ones Are Treated By Auburn SleepMed?

Sleep disorders compromise a large group of medical conditions that negatively influence your ability to get proper sleep regularly. Whatever the cause maybe, it has been observed that sleep related problems are becoming more and more common in USA. As a matter of fact, it is alarming that over 75% of American citizens who are aged between twenty and fifty-nine reportedly suffer from sleeping issues quite often.

Most of the times you occasionally experience sleep related problems because of stringent schedules, immense stress and other similar external influences. However, once these complications start taking place more often than not and get in the way of your daily routine, they might signify some form of sleep disorder. The following are some of the most notable sleep disorders that are treated by Auburn SleepMed.

  • Central Sleep Apnea (CPA)
  • Narcolepsy
  • Insomnia
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
  • Idiopathic Hypersomnia
  • Nightmare Disorders
  • All kinds of parasomnias
  • Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
  • REM Behavioural Disorder
  • Shift Work Sleeping Disorder
  • Circadian Rhythm Disorder

In addition to these sleep complexities, our sleep center’s highly trained and experienced staff members are well versed in the diagnosis and treatment of all sleep related issues under the sun.

How Does Auburn SleepMed Assist In Diagnosis of Sleep Disorders?

A wide range of tests are conducted by the expert physicians who aid in performing the precise diagnosis of your sleep problem. Some of the most noteworthy diagnostic techniques are explicated below:

Home Study

These tests are specially designed for those patients with no cardiac or pulmonary conditions. This is a study where you are able to take the equipment home with you. The elements that are watchfully examined during these studies include heart rates, level of oxygen and movement of different parts of your body.

Multiple Sleep Latency Testing (MSLT)

MSLT is commonly recognized as nap study. It is a test that is generally conducted once the initial PSG study is performed. After PSG, when you wake up in the morning you will have to follow pre-scheduled naps all through the day. Mostly these naps occur once in every 2 to 3 hours.

During these naps you will be given the goal to fall asleep within twenty minutes. A trained technician keeps on monitoring the whole situation and waits for the beginning of sleep. Right after twenty minutes the technician will wake you up again or you will be told that your nap time is over. Typically this test keeps on going for over the time period of ten hours.

MSLT is very helpful in the identification of excessive sleepiness during daytime. This symptom can be found in multiple sleeping disorders like REM, narcolepsy, Hypersomnia, idiopathic and sleep apnea.

Polysomnography (PSG)

It is considered as one of the most basic and effective tests when it comes to the diagnosis of various sleeping disorders. Unlike home study, this diagnostic test is conducted in the labs of clinic. In order to participate in this test first of all you arrive at Auburn SleepMed to stay overnight. You are able to bring items that you typically use in your normal bedtime routine, such as your nightclothes.

The space where PSG is conducted completely looks like a hotel room. It remains completely quiet and dark once the test begins. During the test this room is not shared with anyone. Sleep specialists monitor and analyze your behaviors and sleep patterns with the help of high tech cameras that work great in low-light conditions. This special room is also equipped with the latest audio system which is used for the two way communication.

Once you get fully ready to sleep, a technician will come up and place all the necessary sensors on different parts of your body. Some of the factors that are monitored during Polysomnography include:

  • Snoring
  • Brain waves
  • Limb movement
  • Eye movements
  • Abdominal and chest movement
  • Heart rate
  • Position of the body
  • Levels of oxygen
  • Breathing patterns

Titration Study

This study is performed after the diagnostic study (PSG), and provides information regarding the CPAP pressure settings for each patient. Titration studies are done with (CPAP) Continuous Positive Airway Pressure at the sleep lab. CPAP is basically a machine that makes use of a pump that sends pressurized air into the patient’s lungs. CPAP is particularly effective for you if you are suffering from either obstructive or central sleep apnea.

How Does Auburn SleepMed Treat Sleep Disorders?

It must be noted here that the methods to cure sleep disorders may considerably vary primarily on the basis of the severity and type of condition you have. However, generally the treatment consists of an effective combination of both lifestyle changes and medical remedies.

Medical Remedies

Any of the following medical methods can be employed by sleep specialists in order to cure sleep disruptions:

  • Dental guards (often for grinding teeth)
  • Sleeping pills
  • Surgery or breathing device (often in cases of sleep apnea)
  • Melatonin supplements
  • Medications to deal with any kind of underlying health related problem
  • Cold or allergy medication

Changes in Lifestyle

Some good, positive adjustments in your lifestyle can immensely contribute to the improvement of overall quality and time of your sleep. Several lifestyle changes that you must consider along with medical treatments are listed below:

  • Before bedtime eating smaller meals that have low quantities of carbohydrates
  • Decreasing the utilization of alcohol and tobacco
  • Restricting the amount of caffeine intake
  • Diminishing the levels of anxiety and stress with the help of work out
  • Developing an effective sleeping schedule and strictly sticking to it

Falling asleep and then waking up every day at a pre-scheduled time can play a huge role in curing your sleeping disorders. It will assist in developing a healthy coordination between your mind and body.