Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Importance of Sleep Apnea Testing and How a Dentist can Help

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a potentially life-threatening health problem suffered by tens of millions of Americans, and it often goes undiagnosed. While home sleep apnea tests are increasing in popularity because they offer convenience and cost-effectiveness over sleep centers, they may miss mild, developing instances of OSA.

A May 14, 2013, article in The Wall Street Journal found that home testing is usually accurate for those with moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea. However, because home sleep tests do not monitor brain-wave patterns, they may overestimate your actual sleep time and underevaluate your rate of apnea events.

Home sleep tests have a success rate of 80 to 90 percent, according to the author of an Emory University sleep center study on home testing accuracy who was quoted in the article. Additional testing catches most remaining cases.

The key is to undergo testing. Many patients ignore common signs of obstructive sleep apnea, such as loud, regular snoring.

In addition to snoring, other sleep apnea symptoms include:
  • Recurring daytime drowsiness
  • Waking up choking or gasping for air
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Morning headaches
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, a dentist with training in the field of dental sleep medicine can assess your condition; if necessary, your dentist may arrange a home test or refer you to a sleep center. In many cases, your dentist can help you and your family restore healthy, restful sleep through the use of a comfortable and effective oral appliance.

To learn more about sleep apnea testing and to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you, please contact I Hate CPAP. We welcome patients from Wisconsin, Illinois and across the United States.

posted by Steve at 1:38 PM