If I snore, does that mean I have sleep apnea?
Snoring represents a restriction of air flow into your body as you sleep. If the restriction results in a decrease of oxygen in your system this is more than just a loud noise problem! This interruption could lead to fragmented sleep and host of other stressors on your organs. The simplest way to determine if you have a change in oxygen levels, is to be objectively screened with sleep test monitor. Call our office to schedule a sleep screening and we can help coordinate a sleep test with your physician!
If I don't snore, does this mean I don't have sleep apnea?
While snoring is certainly a great indicator of a potential sleep disordered breathing issue, it is not the only indicator. Some patients simply move frequently during sleep to reposture their body to improve the airway. If you have other signs and symptoms of a sleep issue, call our office to schedule a screening.
What are the most common signs and symptoms that have been associated with a sleep disorder breathing issue?
- Mouth breathing during the day/night time
- Waking up coughing/gasping/choking on your spit
- Post nasal drip during sleep
- Acid reflux during sleep
- Neck, shoulder, back and facial pain
- Grinding your teeth during sleep
- Flattened tabletops of your teeth
- Scalloped tongue(grooves in the sides of your tongue where your teeth fit)
- Restless sleep/difficulty staying asleep
- Frequent urination at night
- Elevated blood pressure
- Daytime sleepiness
- Asthma/Chronic allergies, resulting in nasal stuffiness
- Enlarged tonsils/adenoids
- Long soft palate
- Enlarged or stretched out uvula(that tissue that hangs above your tongue when you say Ahhh)
Additional signs and symptoms seem more commonly in children with sleep disordered breathing issues:
- May see any of the adult signs and symptoms, or present with any of the following as well
- Very active sleeping, lots of movement while sleeping
- Excessive sweating during sleep
- Night terrors
- Difficulty concentrating/Hyperactivity during the daytime(often times diagnosed with ADHD)
- Lower percentile on the growth chart for the child's age
- Tongue tied
- Bed Wetting
If you have one or more of these symptoms, we should consider a home sleep screening !
What is a home sleep test unit and how does it work?
An HST is a device that records data while we sleep. Our office's HST units have the ability to record: heart rate, pulse oxygenation levels, EKG(heart waves), EMG(facial muscle movements), snoring sounds, body position, restless leg movements, nasal air flow, chest and abdominal work required to breathe etc. Once you've worn the device, and collected 2 nights worth of data, we are able to run this information through an interpretive program that recognizes and correlates certain physiologic patterns. We can use this information to work with either your medical physician or a sleep physician colleage to determine a diagnosis and work together to find a solution.
So, I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or an upper airway restriction, now what?
CPAP therapy is the gold standard for treating sleep apnea! The reality is that some people do not/ will not wear them. For those with mild to moderate sleep apnea, and/or those who fail to wear the CPAP, an oral appliance is a great option! These appliances work to open the airway by advancing the lower jaw forward during sleep. Please call our office to see if you are a candidate for this silent, less invasive solution for your sleep disordered breathing!
So, my child has been diagnosed with sleep apnea or an upper airway restriction, now what?
Diagnosing sleep apnea at a young age is a great benefit. There is increased potential for influencing the boney and soft tissue growth patterns with the hope of solving the restrictions permanently. Some of the solutions involve tongue tie release, myofunctional therapy(swallowing, tongue and lip posture training, and breathing re-education), working with ENT physician to improve nasal airway patency and orthodontists to increase arch size to provide more space for the tongue.