Sometimes life can be a little hectic! If you wake up in the morning and still feel tired it is easy to blame a busy routine. However, this fatigue may be an indication of something detrimental to your health.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition in which the upper airway collapses during sleep, preventing the air from getting into your lungs.
The rise of sleep disorders is a significant problem in the United States and around the world. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has already been found to have serious effects associated with stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease, heart failure, arrhythmias, gastroesophageal reflux disease, diabetes, and heart attacks. Early detection and treatment is vital.
Symptoms include snoring loudly and feeling tired even after a full night’s sleep. People may experience excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, nightmares and sleep deprivation. Depression, dry mouth, dry throat, fatigue, headaches, irritability, mood swings, and weight gain is also common.
Awareness is key to getting help. Dental providers along with their staff are at the forefront of diagnosing Sleep Apnea. Trained doctors and staff can give a patient a better quality of life, feeling rested and regaining lost energy, and even lifesaving with early detection.
As the recommended treatment for sleep apnea, the Positive Airways Pressure (PAP) device
has many benefits for the patient who is willing and able to use it in a compliant manner. However, for some, complying with PAP is a challenge. These patients may be coming to your office looking for advice and recommendations on alternative treatments. Oral appliance therapy is a proven effective treatment option for mild to moderate OSA:
* Custom-fitted oral appliances can be highly effective in creating and maintaining an open airway during sleep
* Oral appliance therapy is supported by AASM (American Academy for Sleep Medicine)
* Oral appliance therapy delivers a strong patient compliance rate
Follow along with us to help you become better advocates for OSA, let’s begin:
Taking time out of our busy schedule was a difficult but necessary task. We closed the office for a full day, training our entire team. We wanted our team armed with the knowledge of OSA. By having the knowledge to recognize sleep disorders, we will be able to recognize symptoms and stop this epidemic. Deciding to have a few employees tested, we sent them home with an HST (home sleep test), to better understand the system and learn more about their own health. Having an experienced staff, will also better help patients understand how everything fits together.
Our first story:
Tell us a little about yourself:
“My name is Minas. I am a proud father of three wonderful boys who keep me very busy. In my spare time I enjoy the outdoors and sunshine, I also enjoy cooking and staying fit.
I work for Infinite Smiles in Powell, Ohio. I have been in the dental field for many years.”
Did it ever cross your mind that you may have OSA?
“Never, to be honest, I didn’t even know that such a condition exists”
How did you first hear about Sleep Apnea?
“From training at my office”
What made you do a home sleep study test?
“After listening to the symptoms and how it affects your daily life, I started to think that I may indeed be experiencing this condition.”
Did you take a sleep study quiz? What was the outcome?
“Yes, it consisted of 16 questions. It showed that I would be a candidate for a sleep study test.”
Are you a healthy person?
“I generally feel good, try to exercise and eat right, no pathological issues.”
Do you snore?
“I’ve been told that I snore, I’ve never actually heard myself.”
Tell us a little about the home sleep test (HST):
“I was a bit skeptical if I would be able to sleep, but it worked out fine. I kept the device on for about 6 hours in the comfort of my own bed. It was easy to manipulate and did not cause any discomfort.”
How does it work?
“I placed a nasal cannula attached to the device in my nostrils and a pulse oximeter on my finger They explained everything to me and sent home a how to guide and a You Tube link. The device is attached to a belt around your chest. It records respiration, oxygen saturation and heart rate.”
Was it comfortable while you slept?
“Actually, I didn’t have a problem wearing the device. The pulse oximeter was no problem at all and the nasal cannula, after about 15 minutes was not an issue either. It just took a little time to get used to the feel of it. I am a side sleeper, so it did not interfere with my sleep “habits”.”
How long did you wear it and for how many nights?
“It has to be on for at least 4 hours of continued reading for more accuracy, from what I was instructed. The longer you wear it the, the more data is collected.
What happened after you returned the machine?
“After I returned the device to my dentist, the data was uploaded to a physician. The physician read my report and…”
… Stay tuned to hear the rest of the story.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, it may be time to contact a specialist to have a sleep study done. Ask your dentist if a sleep study could be done, if the dentist is not able to help you, they may be able to help guide you to a certified Sleep Study Specialist in your area. If you have any questions or need help feel free to message Trendz at any time, we will be happy to help.