Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

More than seven million Americans receive a sleep apnea diagnosis every year. One might think that they can go to a dentist or a family doctor and receive that diagnosis. Although these doctors are vital in treating disordered breathing, they do not provide the testing or diagnosis.

OSA? CSA? What’s That?

The medical condition that causes individuals to experience paused breathing during sleep is sleep apnea. The specific diagnosis one can receive are:

  • OSA (obstructive sleep apnea)
    • It occurs when the airway at the back of the throat becomes blocked.
  • CSA (central sleep apnea)
    • It happens when the muscle control system of the brain does not function properly.
  • Mixed or complex sleep apnea
    • A blend of OSA and CSA.

Depending on the exact type of disordered breathing an individual has, their treatment plan will vary. 

How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

A doctor will recommend a sleep study or polysomnography if a person:

  • Snores
  • Gasps during sleep
  • Has night sweats
  • Headaches
  • Sore or dry mouth in the mornings

During a sleep study, a person undergoes various testing. The tests involved in a sleep study are:

  • Nasal airflow sensor 
    • Records airflow
  • Snore microphone
    • Records snoring
  • EEG (electroencephalography) 
    • Measures and records brain waves
  • EMG (electromyography)
    • Records muscle activity of the face, teeth, and legs
  • EOG (electrooculography)
    • Records eye movements
  • EKG (electrocardiogram)
    • Records heart rate and rhythm

After the sleep study, a sleep specialist will review and interpret the results to provide a diagnosis.

Sleep Study Options

Individuals looking to undergo testing to determine if their sleep issues are due to disordered breathing might take an at-home sleep study or a sleep study at a clinic. A doctor will help determine the best environment for the sleep study. 

With sleep studies done at a sleep clinic, a technician will monitor vitals throughout a person’s stay at the clinic. Continuous monitoring of oxygen levels and breathing will occur. Individuals will also have a hotel-like room for the testing. In addition, technicians will place electrodes on the scalp, face, abdomen, and chest of individuals undergoing testing.

If an individual can perform the sleep study at home, there will most likely be fewer electrodes. Moreover, the individual will need to place their electrodes for monitoring, but they will sleep in their bed. 

Contact Us For Sleep Apnea Treatment

Contact us at Konig Center for Cosmetic & Comprehensive Dentistry to start the journey towards a restful night’s sleep. Discover the relief that treatment for disordered breathing provides! Dr. Konig and his expert office staff are waiting to assist patients to sleep through the night. Fill out our contact form or call us at (713) 668-2289. We offer various dental services and treatments at our office in Houston, TX.

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