WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
OSA or obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition characterized by episodes of repeated cessation of breathing during sleep.
It is primarily caused by excess tissue, large tonsils , large tongue , blocked nasal passages, jaw position and airway muscles that relax and collapse during sleep reducing the size of the upper airway. The result is the temporary pause in breathing called “apnea”.
One major hall mark is snoring. Although if you snore habitually it does not mean you have OSA.
When the apneic episodes occur during sleep there is an impulse sent to the brain which causes arousal from sleep- just enough to restart the breathing process.
This cycle repeats itself multiple times throughout the night. In severe cases the periods of not breathing or apneic episodes could last 60-90 seconds and may occur up to 500 times a night.
This results in sleep deprivation and several health-related problems.
MEDICAL PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH OSA
Treating obstructive sleep apnea is of great importance to your health. Untreated OSA causes excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue as well as memory loss.
Moreover OSA is associated with:
High blood pressure
Chronic acid reflux
Sleep apnea has been implicated in drowsy driving and workplace accidents and death.
There are some signs and symptoms that could lead to a suspicion of OSA- things like excessive daytime sleepiness, observed gagging or choking during sleep, memory loss, depression, high blood pressure and reduced libido could point to a diagnosis of OSA.
However if Dr. Olawoye suspects you may have OSA then a referral to a sleep medicine specialist may be made.
The sleep doctor will examine you and may order a sleep study- Polysomnograph which is a special overnight test that monitors your sleep patterns and gathers data about the number and length of each apnea and other problems that disturb your sleep.
Sometimes an at home sleep study could be given to you.
Use this link to see if you may have OSA
If you scored intermediate to high on the screening tool, please call us for a consultation immediately 908-751-7117
TREATING SLEEP APNEA
After a diagnosis is made by a sleep physician, it is important to know whether your condition is mild , moderate or severe.
Depending on severity appropriate treatment may includes weight loss and behavior modification, CPAP or BIPAP machines that use positive air pressure to keep the airway open during sleep.
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) may also be recommended.
Surgery may also be indicated.
WHAT IS ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY?
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) are oral appliances that are custom fabricated to be worn at night during sleep and function to bring the lower jaw forward thereby keeping the airway open.
Dr. Olawoye will see you for a consultation and work up involving X-RAY examinations, oral evaluation and dental impressions. Our office works with dental labs that specialize in the fabrication of these custom oral appliances.
Dr. Olawoye will recommend the right one for your situation.
In addition you will be referred back to the sleep physician for a follow up sleep study to verify efficacy and effectiveness of the device.
Click this link if you have had a Sleep Study in the past 12 months.
Click this link if you have never had a sleep study or not within last 12 months.
DOES INSURANCE COVER OAT?
Many commercial insurances will cover oral appliance therapy for the treatment of OSA.
In order for coverage however strict guidelines have to be followed. Our office will guide you through the insurance maze and will request a pre- authorization prior to the initiation of treatment.
Medicare will also cover OAT.
Moreover Dr. Olawoye and our office is accredited by Medicare as a durable medical equipment supplier.
Oral Appliance Therapy