Oral appliances are commonly used to treat obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). These devices are fitted into the mouth and keep the jaw fixed throughout the night. They help to move air through the narrowed airway, which reduces snoring.
If you suffer from OSA, you may have noticed that you stop breathing and fall asleep without even realizing it with the help of Sleep Wise. This is because your throat relaxes while you’re unconscious, allowing air to escape. You may also notice that you start gasping for air and waking up during the night.
OSA is more common among older adults, but it can affect anyone at some point in their life. It’s caused by excess accumulation of fluid in the nasal passages and upper airways, making them narrower than average. The disorder can result in fragmented sleep and loud snoring noises that disrupt sleeping partners and neighbors.
OSA is usually diagnosed by checking your symptoms. Your doctor will do this by asking you questions and performing some tests. These may include:
A physical examination. This involves a general check-up and includes measuring the size of your nose, size of your mouth, length of your tongue, and stiffness or mobility in your jaw.
A nasal examination consists of gentle pressure on the nose to check for narrowing and any blockages and mild irritation when applying a sphygmomanometer (pressure gauge) to the nose for test results.
Some OSA treatments require an overnight stay in the hospital. In such cases, you’ll be asked to stay in bed overnight, and you’ll have a physical examination at 7am, during which time you’ll be given instructions on how to fit the device. If at this point you don’t want oral appliances fitted, then they won’t be fitted, and it will all be over by 8 am! Oral appliances are effective if adequately fitted, so it’s important not to refuse treatment with them unnecessarily so that proper diagnosis occurs.
Breathing tests may also involve putting a flexible tube into the back passage. At the same time, you sleep through an overnight period through which oxygen levels are measured via sensors placed on body parts (such as your finger or toe). Try wearing special earplugs designed for testing snoring conditions too! these make loud noises when squeezed (you may need help from someone else to squeeze them for you!)
At the end of the night, some patients are asked to take a daily record of their sleep patterns and routine to identify a way. If you’re having trouble staying asleep at night, it’s helpful to keep a diary of your behavior in bed and how you feel each day so that your doctor can pinpoint any changes as things progress.
Overnight OSA tests are usually private (at least initially), but if it’s required, there’s a chance that overnight work-up fees may have to be paid by the patient or the patient’s insurance company.