Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common diagnosis. Sleep apnea is caused when soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks your airway. Because airflow stops, the oxygen level in your blood drops, causing your brain to kick start the breathing process, which is often accompanied by gasps or choking. Therefore sleep apnea causes your sleep cycle to reset multiple times during night, which not only affects how you feel when you wake up, but can also lead to chronic conditions and can even be fatal if the case is severe and left untreated.
What are the symptoms of a sleep disorder?
• Excessive daytime sleepiness
• High blood pressure
• Labored breathing at night
• Puffing sounds at night
• Dry mouth upon awakening
• Jaw clenching, grinding
• Morning headaches
• Change in personality
• Difficulty concentrating
• Sweating during sleep
• Reduced libido
• Urinating at nighttime
• Restless sleep
• Snorting, gasping, or choking
• Rapid weight gain
• Confusion upon waking
• Erectile dysfunction
• History of heart problems
How is a sleep disorder diagnosed and treated?
Obstructive Sleep Anea (OSA) can only be diagnosed by a physician and only following a sleep study. There are two types of sleep studies:
1. Polysomnogram (In-lab Sleep Study)
2. Out of Center Sleep Study (Home Sleep Test)
In lab sleep studies are the gold standard but many insurance companies now dictate a home sleep test first due to their ease, affordability, and accuracy. While in lab tests have more accurate data, home sleep tests represent more natural sleep. This is due to your sleeping in your regular environment versus sleeping in a lab environment. Dr. Hagelthorn can help you determine which test is best for you and help begin the process of getting tested if you have not been diagnosed already. Both of these tests are painless, safe, and covered by most insurance plans.
Sleep Apnea and Sleep Disorder treatment
Prior to initiating any treatment it is essential to have a comprehensive clinical exam evaluating the airway that is compromised.
Dr. Hagelthorn specializes in CPAP-Free treatment of Sleep Apnea and has focused his expertise in Oral Appliance Therapy.
Oral Appliance Therapy requires wearing a custom oral appliance. This appliance serves to physiologically prevent the collapse of your airway by stabilizing your lower jaw, tongue, and soft palate. There are over 115 different variations of these customized appliances, making a comprehensive evaluation extremely important for selecting the best device for you.
Oral appliance therapy can be very effective in treating patients who snore and those suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea. Additionally, if severe sleep apnea patients are unable to tolerate a CPAP machine, they can be fitted with an appliance that positions the lower jaw and tongue to provide optimal airflow during sleep.