Sleep apnea is a sleep-related disorder that causes breathing to stop repeatedly before starting again. Sleep apnea treatment is not just expensive but also inaccessible to many. Snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea, which leaves you feeling tired even after getting a full night’s sleep.
There are three types of sleep apnea, which are identified as obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome. The signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea are similarly making it challenging for experts to determine which type is affecting you.
If you are affected by any of the first two conditions, you will experience loud snoring with episodes when you stop breathing while sleeping. You may not be aware of your situation until your bed partner reports it. You may have difficulties staying asleep and become irritable or have difficulty paying attention when awake.
The American Sleep Apnea Association has demanded that sleep apnea treatment is essential for public health and safety. Untreated sleep apnea is a primary cause of operator fatigue in transportation, insulin resistance, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, etc.
People with untreated sleep apnea commit more mistakes when working, struggle with cognitive issues, and are likely to engage in high-risk behavior because of sleep deprivation. Excessive daytime sleepiness is also a hallmark of this condition.
People who suspect they are having the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea must discuss the problem with their doctor. They can inquire with the medical professional about any sleep-related issue, which leaves them tired, irritable, and sleepy.
The doctor will likely refer them to a sleep medicine specialist who, in turn, will recommend either undergoing a sleep test in a clinic designated for this purpose. People with sleep apnea have two options before them, which is to ignore the condition or to maintain it. The options available for treatment are expensive and require people to invest time and energy to maintain a connection and comply with the requirements.
After evaluating the patient, the sleep medicine specialist may recommend a nocturnal polysomnography test whether a patient is hooked up to equipment with mouth pipes to monitor the heart, lung, and brain activity. Innovations made for diagnosing sleep apnea now make available home sleep apnea testing equipment, which is more convenient and provides significant results for a diagnosis. Both tests are expensive but give the sleep medicine specialist information about whether the patient is affected by sleep apnea or not.
The treatment for sleep apnea is determined after the results of the test confirm the patient is affected by the issue. If abnormal results are delivered, the doctor may prescribe a therapy without additional testing. However, if the results are normal, the doctor may prescribe the polysomnography test again despite the portable devices providing normal results.
Treating sleep apnea is complicated and may require different therapies, including the CPAP, BPAP, or oral devices like a mouthguard developed by dentists. Regardless of which treatment is offered, it must be understood that the patient must undergo a diagnosis by a sleep medicine specialist without which they will only be ignoring the condition without trying to maintain it.
The Phoenix dentist can provide custom made occlusal appliances specifically designed for people with sleep apnea. However, dentists haven’t received training to diagnose this condition, and people affected by the problem will be referred to a specialist in this field before the dentist offers any treatment.
Occlusal appliances for sleep apnea were pioneered by dentists and help to keep the lower jaw in a forward position when sleeping. The instruments are portable and easy to become accustomed to, unlike the CPAP or BPAP devices. Most importantly, besides the cost of getting diagnosed for sleep apnea, the prices of the occlusal appliances are affordable compared to other treatments.
It is perhaps the reason why more people are now visiting dentists whenever there are affected by the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. Dentists undoubtedly have a remedy for this condition but will only proceed with the treatment after a sleep medicine specialist makes a confirmed diagnosis.
Efforts to research sleep apnea are continuing at different levels to develop effective diagnostic strategies to improve the identification of biomarkers, which display a higher risk for this condition. Even more, research is necessary for pediatric sleep apnea to understand why it occurs and how it can be identified early to reverse the process before it progresses to a chronic condition.