What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): The more common of the forms of apnea, is caused by blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. It is most characterized by repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep, despite the effort to breathe. Individuals with OSA rarely are aware of their difficulty in breathing, during their sleep, even upon awakening.
Symptons And Health Risk
Gasping or Choking
Nocturia (Nightly Urination)
High Blood Pressure
Congestive Heart Failure
The Mallampati Score System has been used for more than 20 years as an oral airway classification system. This is a non-invasive procedure easily conducted by a trained healthcare provider in less than 15 seconds. The risk of having OSA increases two-fold as you move up in class on the Mallampati Scale (as pictured above) so those classified as a Class IV are at an eight-fold chance. If a male patient is to have a neck circumference of 17 inches or greater, or a female patient has the neck circumference of 16 inches or greater, may also be noted as a possible factor in screening for OSA. Further inquiries should be made about snoring and ES Symptoms.
Home Sleep Test
Do you suffer from Excessive Daytime Sleepiness? Do you identify with any of the symptoms we have listed above? Click the button below to take a test that should take no more than 5-10 minutes to complete in the comfort of your own home. Print and take to your Primary Care Physician if you score higher than an 8. This will help with diagnosing and further planning of treatment.
Treating Sleep Apnea
- Oral Applicance Therapy
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is the frontline treatment for patients with OSA, especially those who do not respond well/ re non-compliant with CPAP Therapy. Oral Appliances help prevent the tongue from collapsing, promoting adequate air intake and keeping the airway open during sleep. The Narval ( Pictured ) is one of the many oral appliances that have been manufactured to help in the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. These Oral Appliances are small & convenient, perfect for those who travel.
- CPAP Set-Up
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the “Gold Standard” of OSA treatment. Working with a network of DME providers, we will make sure you are seen quickly for a new mask and or PAP. There are 20 different machines and 80 different mask accessories and 1600 different combinations, we are sure that our providers will find the mask/machine that best fits you and your life style.
If patient is neither compliant with the Oral Appliance nor CPAP Therapy then an ENT specialists can be consulted to perform one of few surgeries that have been seen as alternatives. Nasal Surgery, UP3, The Pillar Procedure, Hyoid Advancement, Tongue Advancement, Lower Jaw Advancement and Tongue Reduction are all possibilities.
- Weight Loss
Having identified a link between being obese and being diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Weight Loss has been seen as a possible treatment in helping treat most sleep disorders, including Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Losing 10% of body weight can show big effects on symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.