How to Diagnose Sleep Disorders Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
The first step in treating OSA is, of course,to diagnose it properly. This happens using a sleep study. An overnight polysomnogramwould be a more formal term. And in this a patient is going to go to an accredited sleeplab where a sleep technician will attach a series of electrodes and wires to the bodythat monitor things like respiration, abdominal force, eye movement, so we can track whatsleep stage you are in. And, of course, a breathing monitor and a camera. The most importantof the camera is it actually physically records somebody having an apnea. It's not uncommonfor patients to know that they have awoken themselves by not breathing or to wake upand actually not be able to breathe and take
a second to catch their breath But for somepatients they have no concept of sleep apnea. They think they sleep just fine. It's theirbed partner who can't handle the snoring and the sounds of the apneas and the wakeningwho forces them to reach treatment. After the sleep study is executed, the andsleep technicians will review the results, review the results with you. And at that point,it might warrant another sleep study which we would call a CPAP titration. CPAP standsfor continuous positive airway pressure, and it's basically one of the most naturalistictreatments you find in sleep disorder medicine. It involves taking a mask or nasal unit ofsome kind which is connected to an air hose
to a compressor. And, essentially, this compressorwhich is set at a pressure prescribed by the physician is used to force air into the oralcavity and into the throat to expand the airway and prevent it from collapsing. There's anynumber of different masks and face units that can be used. It used to be in the early daysof sleep medicine that CPAP choices were limited, and the discomfort of CPAP keeps people fromseeking it as treatment. So in this day and age we have so many more options. So manymore people will stay treatment compliant and actually use their CPAP machine whichwill lead to better sleep, better health. Their's other treatments that can be usedfor some people. An oral mandibular advancement
device which is a sort of dental appliancemay be an option. Although that is not indicated for everybody it would be due to certain conditionsin the mouth that lead to sleep apnea. There's also a type of surgery called a UPPP whichinvolves surgery on the uvula and soft palate on the throat. That's usually performed byan ear, nose, throat and, again, that's not always an option for everybody. But thosecould be part of a treatment plan for OSA in particular patients.