The person may wake up feeling unrefreshed and or had a dip in energy after lunch. The way it is diagnosed is with a sleep study. Many options exist to assist the sufferer.
Sleep apnoea is a debilitating and a hugely undiagnosed health problem. Researchers say that 90% of sleep apnoea sufferers are undiagnosed. The sufferer stops breathing for a minimum of 10 seconds before the brain stimulates the person to wake up and start breathing again. The person is unaware, but a partner may witness it. The reduction of oxygen intake leads to the heart having to work harder to compensate and hence increases the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
Sometimes you don’t realise how unwell you are until you become well. A good example of that is snoring. Rather than just giving your partner something to complain about, snoring can sometimes indicate a condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).
When you have OSA, your tongue falls to the back of your throat during sleep. That obstruction stops air passing through, which wakes you up momentarily as you breathe in deeply. The whole cycle mitigates against restful sleep. Anyone can suffer from OSA.
Some of the signs you may have OSA include:
- Intermittent snoring
- Waking gasping or choking
- Fragmented light sleep
- Poor memory
- Morning headaches
- High blood pressure
- Teeth grinding
- Bed wetting (in children)
- ADD / ADHD
If OSA is not treated it can cause a variety of other medical problems. Please get in touch with us if you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms.
How do you diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
At Progressive Dental we have equipment in our Cremorne dental surgery that can help us look at your airways and see where the obstructions are. “If you’ve had a problem getting air through to your lungs and all of a sudden you don’t have a problem, that really does make a difference,” says Dr. Stein.
The first step in diagnosis is an overnight sleep study. This can be done in hospital or at home in the comfort of your own bed.
We will refer you to a sleep clinic who will provide you equipment to take home and then they will do a full report and make reccommendations based on the results.
The next step, if OSA is diagnosed, is evaluating your airways to work out the best treatment. At Progressive Dental we use Eccovision technology for this task. Eccovision consists of two components
- Pharyngometer – This sends sound waves down the oral airway and plots out via a computer where the collapse is and whether moving the lower jaw forward and down opens up the airway. This also enables us to decide whether you are a good candidate for an oral appliance.
- Rhinometer – This sends sound waves up the nasal passages and lets us know whether there are any blockages which would prevent the patient from breathing properly through the nose.
These tests take only seconds to perform and are painless and an essential part of successful oral appliance therapy.
How do you treat Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
Mild to Moderate OSA can be treated with an oral appliance.
This appliance moves the lower jaw down and forward slightly which in turn takes the tongue with it and opens the airway. There are many oral appliances on the market but here at Progressive Dental we use SomnoDent MAS. This appliance is the gold standard of oral appliances for both snoring and sleep apnoea. It is custom made to each individual patient and has a soft inner lining that is both comfortable and protects the teeth. The appliance is comprised of both upper and lower plates. It is adjustable so patients can be re-evaluated and adjusted if required.
CPAP – Continuous Positive Pressure
This treatment consists of a mask and hose which is attached to a machine. This machine pumps air up through the nose which in turn pushes the tongue forward and prevents obstruction. This is an effective treatment but the machine can be noisy and the mask uncomfortable.
In severe OSA cases surgery can be performed. This is done by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon.
For more information on snoring and sleep apnoea or to request a consultation, call our dental surgery in Cremorne on 02 9953 0895 or click here to email us.
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