Sleep Apnea Treatment San Francisco
Approximately three million Americans are diagnosed with sleep apnea each year. This condition, which may have a number of causes and risk factors, causes a person to stop breathing, sometimes hundreds of times each night. Most cases diagnosed are obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the easiest to treat.
To treat sleep apnea, the condition must first be diagnosed. This is the primary challenge of the disorder, as the patient is usually completely unaware of his or her sleep disturbance. When apneic episodes occur, sleep is disrupted just enough to prompt a breathing response. Typically, this is not enough to rouse a patient from sleep. In many cases, a loved one who hears the loud snoring and gasps for breath who urges seeking medical attention. If a patient sleeps alone, however, there is no one to alert him or her to a potentially deadly problem. In any case, it helps to pay attention to any symptoms that may alert you to a problem with sleep disorders, including:
- Extreme drowsiness during the day, regardless of how many hours of sleep you have gotten
- Difficulty concentrating on tasks or remembering information
- Feelings of moodiness, irritability or depression
- Significant and consistent decrease in productivity
- Hyperactivity in children
If any of these symptoms are present and consistent, medical evaluation is needed. Based on one’s medical history, and a sleep study test called a Polysomnogram (PSG), a diagnosis for sleep apnea can be determined and steps toward healthy sleep restored.
Today, there are multiple options for dealing with sleep apnea. In addition to lifestyle changes including diet and exercise, patients may find help in either surgical or non-surgical treatments. Non-surgical treatments include the CPAP machine, which delivers oxygen to the lungs through forced air, or a dental appliance worn during sleep. Dental Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) works by opening airway passages for more effective breathing. The CPAP machine, although highly effective, has low patient compliance due to its discomfort and inconvenience of use. When a dental appliance is used to treat sleep apnea, adjustments can be made to make it as comfortable as possible, and its portability to use when traveling is more convenient than a CPAP.
The first step in restoring healthy sleep is to receive the necessary evaluation to diagnose sleep apnea. To learn more about the process, contact us for your personalized assessment