Sleep Apnea

People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway and airflow stops. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp.

Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to very serious cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration.

Some patients have obstructions that are less severe called Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). In either case, the individuals suffer many of the same symptoms.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

The first step in treatment for sleep apnea resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation.

In addition to a detailed history, the doctors will assess the anatomic relationships in the maxillofacial region. With cephalometic (skull x-ray) analysis, the doctors can ascertain the level of obstruction. Sometimes a naso-pharyngeal exam is done with a flexible fiber-optic camera. To confirm the amount of cardiovascular compromise and decreased oxygenation levels, a sleep study may be recommended to monitor an individual overnight.

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

There are several treatment options available. An initial treatment may consist of using a nasal CPAP machine that delivers pressurized oxygen through a nasal mask to limit obstruction at night.

In the case that a patient is intolerant or cannot use a CPAP, Dr. Yang can help treat your Sleep Related Breathing Disorder (SRBD) though Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). Dr. Yang uses advanced technology to measure your airway and breathing, along with a home sleep study, and professional collaboration with a Board Certified Sleep Physician, MD.

OSA is a very serious condition that needs careful attention and treatment. Most major medical plans offer coverage for diagnosis and treatment.

Snoring

Snoring results from an often-complex multi-facial problem that can be affected by one or more anatomical factors. For most sufferers, snoring is caused by the vibration of the muscular roof of the mouth, also known as the soft palate. For others, snoring is worsened by an obstruction of the nasal passage. An enlarged uvula, tonsils, and the base of the tongue can also contribute to the problem.

There is no reason to be embarrassed about snoring, or to feel alone. Snoring is a common problem, with 90 million Americans suffering from the condition. While snoring can have a negative impact on your personal life, it can also negatively affect your health, and should therefore be taken seriously. Daytime drowsiness, decreased libido and energy, and even depression can all result from snoring. More serious problems such as an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and high blood pressure can also result from habitual snoring.

CPAP

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a treatment option for patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). When OSA occurs, the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway and airflow stops. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp.

The CPAP treatment is generally offered to patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea, and involves wearing a mask placed on the nose and/or mouth during sleep, which helps keep the airways open during. The mask is attached to a machine that delivers a continuous stream of compressed air. When used properly, CPAP is a highly effective way to treat OSA.

Unfortunately, many users find the mask uncomfortable or inconvenient, and reduce use without consulting their doctor. Other patients may experience dry mouth, or complain that the noise produced by the machine actually makes sleep more difficult.

Dr. Yang is able to treat OSA and other SRBD through the use of OAT. Dr. Yang will help you determine the best method of treatment for your sleep concern.

Home Sleep Study

To diagnose sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, a sleep study at an overnight sleep lab has traditionally been recommended. However, portable sleep monitoring devices have recently emerged to help identify disruptive sleep patterns without sacrificing your time or comfort.

Home sleep studies allow Dr. Yang to monitor your sleep patterns in the comfort of your own home, and without interrupting your normal nightly routine. The home sleep study device is generally worn on your wrist, while finger probes connected to the device gather your data and vital signs. The information is stored on a removable memory card and downloaded for Dr. Yang to analyze. Dr. Yang will then be able to recommend an appropriate treatment method for you.

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