In our sleep disorders center, we help people that are struggling with sleep apnea to get better quality rest at night. Some reports suggest that 18 million adults struggle with this condition and may not be receiving the treatment that they need. Sleep apnea is such a common condition, yet it has negative consequences on health for millions of people that are living with it. Sleep is when your body repairs itself so by not getting it, you could be exposing your body to sickness, further stress, and other health issues.
The condition itself occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat blocks the airways by collapsing. Even more common is obstructive sleep apnea where the lower jaw falls backwards at night, and the tongue falls backwards with it. The tongue then obstructs the airways, making it difficult to breathe clearly, causing people to spend the night struggling to breathe. This can manifest itself as loud snoring, choking, or simply waking up with no energy the next day. Those that live with this condition on a regular basis, may find that they can’t stay up past dinner or have difficulty driving and doing other mundane activities.
In our sleep disorders center, we test for obstructive sleep apnea to find out if you are breathing clearly at night and if not, how severe the condition is. Many people that undergo a sleep study do so at a hospital or center where they are strapped up to a machine for monitoring while they sleep. We find that while effective, it can be uncomfortable and incredibly difficult to sleep under these conditions. Most people are uneasy having someone monitor them throughout the night and as anyone knows that has spent time in the hospital – it is typically not very relaxing. We do things differently.
Patients of our sleep disorders center can typically test their sleep patterns at home from the comfort of their own bed. This makes it much easier to relax and try to get a good night’s sleep. With no one there to watch you, people generally feel that this is the less intrusive method for finding out how well they breathe at night. In order to take the test, we will give you a machine and provide you with instructions on how to use it. Before getting into bed, you will need to hook yourself up and make sure that everything is in place while you sleep. After turning it on, go to sleep like normal and bring the results in the next day for us to review and discuss.
If we identify that you do have obstructive sleep apnea, we will have a removable oral appliance created that you can wear at night while sleeping. This is the easiest way to correct the condition because an oral appliance is small and comfortable. It looks like a full retainer that surrounds the upper and lower teeth while remaining connected in order to hold the jaw in place. By doing so, the tongue cannot fall backwards and the airways will remain clear so that you can get a restful night’s sleep.