Sunday, September 24, 2017

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Diagnosis and Treatment

Evaluation by a qualified physician is recommended as the first step in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. If you suspect you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) seek medical advice. Tell your primary care physician about your symptoms and why you are concerned. If your doctor suspects OSA, he/she may perform a physical exam, and ask you many questions about your sleep patterns and daytime activities. Your doctor may also order a sleep study.

          A sleep study provides doctors with information about how an individual rests and breathes during sleep. This data will enable the qualified physician to determine the type and severity of the sleep disorder. The sleep study typically involves one overnight stay in a sleep laboratory clinic, with a possible second night for treatment testing and evaluation.

          Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP – pronounced “See-PAP”) is the most common and effective treatment for OSA. Less common treatments include surgery and oral appliances. CPAP provides a gentle flow of positive pressure to the patient through a nasal mask. The airflow holds, or "splints," the airway open so air flows freely to the lungs.

With CPAP therapy:

               •   Breathing becomes regular and snoring stops;
               •   Oxygen level in the blood becomes normal;
               •   Restful sleep is restored;
               •   Quality of life is improved;
               •   Risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and vehicular or work-related accidents is reduced.