3 Questions To Ask Your Sleep Apnea Specialist
The word Apnea has a Greek etymology and it refers to “want of breath”. This simply means the absence or cessation of breath during sleep. In most cases, it usually results in sleepiness during the daytime. It manifests in different forms such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), where the soft palate muscles around the base of an individual’s tongue and the uvula relax, and consequently obstruct the respiratory airways. Other manifestations include central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea syndrome. With symptoms ranging from excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, sore throat, dry mouth, memory changes, irritability, depression; sleep apnea may even worsen high blood pressure, heart attack, leading to heart failure and stroke. There are questions that everyone suffering from sleep apnea must ask their therapists once they have taken the bold step to get treatments to alleviate their condition.
Do I need a sleep study?
Patients who have previously had a study conducted have taken a very good first step. You will eventually need a sleep study, but we believe going over your condition and your treatment options during your free consultation, and thus a sleep study is not needed. A very crucial role that we play in the treatment process is that we help you find a sleep clinic where this can be conducted if needed.
What are the complications and risks if OSA is not treated?
The risks involved with Obstructive Sleep Apnea are just too numerous to mention as already highlighted in the introductory part of this post. Some of the risks include; high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, liver problems, daytime fatigue, complications with medication and surgery, and other heart problems. In the event that such a patient shares their sleeping space with others, it is highly likely that such partners who share the sleeping space will be deprived of a good day/night sleep because of this situation. There is a 2 minute STOP BANG test that you can take online to determine the severity of your sleep apnea.
What are my treatment options?
A common treatment option for mild cases is quitting the habits that trigger OSA such as avoiding excessive alcohol intake, obesity, smoking or treating Nasal allergies. Although many sleep specialists tell their patients that their only option is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure also called CPAP, a machine that delivers air pressure to the respiratory tract. There ARE other options such as sleep appliances. That is why it is important to talk to your specialist about all your options and to find which best suites your needs.