High blood pressure • Memory problems • Morning headaches • Feeling of depression • Gastro-esophageal reflux (heartburn) • Impotence • Nocturia (frequent night time urination) • Weight gain • Limited attention • Lethargy • Poor judgment • Personality issues • Hyperactivity, especially in children Depression • Irritability • Sexual dysfunction • Learning and memory difficulties • Increased risk of accident from falling asleep while driving • High blood pressure • Heart attack, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia and stroke. CPAPoral appliances sleep apneaObstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where there is a total stoppage of breathing that occurs during sleep. This interruption of breathing can occur 10 to 50 or even 100 times every hour with the duration of these episodes occurring anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds. It has been estimated that up to 25 % of men and 9 % of women can be affected by OSA. What is more disturbing is that it is estimated that OSA is undiagnosed in 80 to 90 % of the people that actually have OSA.
One problem we see in our office is the number of patients that are undiagnosed for OSA, but are instead being treated for high blood pressure, diabetes, depression etc. These patients could be on medications that are not treating the primary underlying cause of their symptoms.
Some of the symptoms of OAS are: Excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, observed episodes of stoppage of breathing, frequent and abrupt awakening accompanied by the shortness of breath, awakening with a dry mouth, sore throat and or sore teeth, awakening with chest pain, morning headaches, snoring, difficulty concentrating during the day, poor job performance, obesity, attention deficit disorder, mood changes such as depression and irritability, difficulty staying asleep (insomnia), diabetes and high blood pressure.
Diagnosis is done by a formal sleep study. This takes place at an overnight facility where you are hooked up by monitors all over your body to measure different parameters such as breathing, heart rate, respiration, brain waves and muscle activity as you sleep. These overnight sessions are attended by a sleep technician who monitors the incoming data and makes sure the patient is doing well via a video monitor. These results are then read by a board certified sleep physician. The sleep physician makes a diagnosis and an appropriate treatment for the patient. Treatment can involve conservative routes such as weight loss, CPAP machine that is a mask hooked up to an air pump that blows a stream of positive air through your nose and or mouth that opens up the airway and prevents it from collapsing, an Oral Appliance(OA) fabricated by a trained dentist or some means of surgery.