Sleep apnea is a problem that can affect anyone including children. This is a potentially serious disorder that causes your breathing to stop repeatedly and start. If you’re in the habit of snoring loudly and feeling tired even after a full night’s sleep you could be affected by sleep apnea and must consult with a sleep physician to have yourself evaluated. You may also visit your doctor for an evaluation but will undoubtedly be referred to the sleep physician who is an expert in this field and can give you a precise evaluation of the type of sleep apnea that may have affected you. A proper diagnosis will ensure you get the right treatment to be able to overcome this problem. The three types of sleep apnea are the following:
The signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea are nearly similar making it difficult for doctors and physicians to determine which type could be affecting you. The most common symptoms of both these conditions include:
Doctors trained in diseases of the nervous system, cardiologists and dentists may be involved in evaluating your condition.
Your doctor or dentist may make an evaluation based on your signs and symptoms and may refer you to a sleep physician in the sleep disorder Center. The sleep study specialist can help you with your need for further evaluation. The evaluation will require overnight monitoring of your breathing and other functions during a sleep study test known as polysomnography.
You will be connected to numerous wires and tubes to monitor your heart, lung, and brain activity along with breathing patterns, movements of your arm and leg and blood oxygen levels when you are sleeping. The test may require you to stay overnight at the clinic or may be asked to leave in the middle of the night.
The polysomnography test despite being considered as the gold standard for evaluating the condition of sleep apnea is cumbersome and expensive. You may take several weeks or months just to secure an appointment and the results of the test will also be available only after a couple of weeks to aggravate your condition if you are at a high risk of cardiovascular conditions. Moreover, you will be making multiple visits to your doctor or cardiologist for appointments incurring heavy expenditure on the evaluation itself.
Your dentist can also provide you sleep apnea treatment after conducting a sleep study to determine the severity of your symptoms. Your dentist also works with the sleep study physician and if the polysomnography test is suggested to you the dentist may offer you an alternative method of evaluation with the help of home sleep apnea testing.
Home sleep apnea testing is gaining popularity over sleep tests at a clinic because you can have the tests in a familiar environment with equipment delivered to you by leading manufacturers. You are just required to strap the device on your wrist before going to bed and unstrap it in the morning to return it back to the provider. The results of the test will be instantly downloaded and forwarded to your dentist who may thereafter suggest a couple of categories of dental appliances that can help you overcome this problem.
The dental appliances are similar to mouth guards or orthodontic retainers and are known as mandibular advancement devices and tongue retaining mouthpieces. These appliances cannot be considered similar to the mouth guards available in stores because you will have to have a custom-made device to suit your particular requirements. Over-the-counter appliances may offer you lower prices but at the same time may, in reality, complicate the problem of sleep apnea. If you have however been evaluated as afflicted by sleep apnea you can certainly contact Dr. George Strickland at Strickland Family Dentistry who can offer you effective sleep apnea treatment at affordable prices as compared to the standard charges applied by physicians and cardiologists. This can be considered as a better alternative to visiting your doctor, sleep physician, undergoing a polysomnography test and thereafter remaining concerned about the huge bills that you raked up.