Treatment usually starts with a diagnosis, which may require an overnight sleep study, which we can arrange through our affiliations with accredited sleep medicine physicians and labs. During a sleep study, the number and severity of the apnea condition is monitored and recorded. Cases are usually described as mild, moderate or severe according to a scale known as the apnea hypopnea index or AHI. In more severe cases, OSA sufferers may experience breath stoppage more than 30 times per hour, and have blood oxygen levels plummet to unhealthy levels. In the most severe cases, surgery may be considered as a treatment option.
As people become more aware of sleep apnea, using an oral appliance is increasing in popularity. Oral appliances come in hundreds of shapes and sizes and can treat all cases of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Finding the right appliance for you can be a simple task with the help from your Doctor. These appliances are worn in the mouth similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard. The job of an oral appliance is to hold the lower jaw forward just enough to keep the airway open and prevent the tongue and upper airway muscles from collapsing onto the airway resulting in lack of oxygen. This will make sure the airway is kept open, and you will be breathing with no problem throughout the night.
Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A custom-fit oral sleep appliance can improve your sleep, restore your alertness and revitalize your health. Appliances bought over the counter may not be as effective and can result in jaw problems, so be sure to get fitted for your appliance to be guaranteed a proper treatment.
Positive Airway Pressure Device (CPAP)
Another form of treatment for sleep apnea is a positive airway pressure device. This machine is worn over the nose to supply pressurized air that continuously flows into the throat, which keeps the airway open and prevents it from collapsing. Studies show that patients feel much better after using these machines while sleeping, and even notice the symptoms reducing as an effect of using these devices continuously.The primary issue with CPAP therapy is not effectiveness, but acceptance. Many OSA patients find they are unable to tolerate the face mask, supporting head gear and other equipment associated with CPAP, and either refuse the device or discontinue use after an initial period of compliance.
The most viable alternative to CPAP therapy comes from the dental sleep medicine community, which has developed a range of oral appliances. We have experienced an extremely high success rate at helping CPAP intolerant patients find a comfortable, effective and sustainable treatment option in oral appliance therapy. Dr. Anjoo Ely is Board Certified by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. Her and her team has been treating sleep apnea for many years. She comes with heavy education through multiple academies. She also prides herself in listening and attaining all necessary data to properly treat her patients.
Because OSA is a dangerous health condition, it is important to seek assistance in remedying the problem. Finding the right type of therapy can mean immediate relief not only for you, but also better sleep for bed partners as well. Diagnostic testing for OSA and the use of oral appliances for treatment of the condition are often covered or reimbursed by private health insurance providers, and by Medicare. Our office can work with you to create a cost-effective treatment plan.