Since sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life threatening disorder if left untreated, it is critical to be diagnosed and receive proper treatment. Often, since the sufferer is not aware of the episodes, it feels like a problem that can be put off or easily addressed without any medical intervention. However, even in cases of mild sleep apnea, it is important to be under a doctor”s care who will monitor those changes and assure that the condition is not worsening.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, it is time to be your own best advocate and find support, research treatment options and find reputable sleep clinics and study centers before proceeding with treatment.
Finding a Reputable Sleep Study Clinic
Finding a reputable sleep center is the first step in the journey of receiving proper care. make sure your center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. A full listing of accredited providers can be found on their site.
Understanding the tests you will likely be given will help you properly prepare for them and assure accurate results. In order to receive a diagnosis, you may likely go through several tests, sleep studies and evaluations.
• In office physical to determine the need for further evaluation
• Nocturnal polysomnography. This non invasive test monitors the heart, lung, and brain activity while sleeping. It also monitors breathing patterns, the level of oxygen in the blood, and body movements.
• Oximetry screening. A small machine measures the level of oxygen in casino online the blood while you sleep. A little sensor is attached to the finger and collects information overnight. Severe apnea can usually be easily detected this way.
Once it is clear that you have sleep apnea, it is likely you will need further evaluations to determine the type and all of the underlying causes. Even if it seems clear that you are experiencing obstructive sleep, it is possible to also be suffering from central sleep apnea. According to Mayo Clinic experts,sleep apnea can be very complex, and most patients receive further testing. Specialists you may need to see include,
• Cardiologist—Evaluates the heart for damage
• Neurologist—Will determine if you have central sleep apnea
• Otolaryngologist—Evaluates the throat, soft palate, and tonsils to determine cause and extent of obstruction
While the vast majority of sleep apnea cases can be resolved with lifestyle changes or treated with CPAP, a few will require surgery. Most frequently, patients with obstructive sleep apnea have excess tissue or enlarged tonsils, which cause one of the hallmarks of apnea, loud snoring. The goal of surgery is to open the airway by either removing excess tissue, adjust the lower jaw to open the airway, or in the most rare and extreme cases, bypass the obstruction.
• Maxillomandibular advancement is a procedure where the upper and lower jaw is moved forward, enlarging the space between the tongue and soft palate.
• Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a procedure used to remove tissue from the rear of the mouth and top of the throat. Very often, the tonsils and adenoids are removed as well.
• Tracheostomy is a procedure is used in the most life threatening cases of sleep apnea. In this procedure, a tube is inserted in an opening in the neck, allowing the air to bypass any obstructions.
Doing a little research and finding the right support can help you find qualified providers and the best possible treatment.