Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts. This can range from mild (infrequent gaps in breathing) to severe (frequent and long gaps in breathing). The main symptoms of sleep apnea are snoring and fatigue after a long night’s sleep.
Who Treats Sleep Apnea?
• ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctors)
How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
To diagnose sleep apnea, a patient must first go to a board-certified physician to get a prescription to conduct a sleep study. The sleep study will determine if a patient has sleep apnea and qualifies for treatment.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
The two main treatments for sleep apnea are CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) and/or intraoral appliances. CPAP provides air at a pressure just high enough to prevent the collapse of your airway. The pressurized air is provided through a mask that you seal with your mouth or nose. This allows you to breathe without much effort and sleep without waking up.
Intraoral devices advance the lower jaw forward, thereby enlarging the pharyngeal airway. This action pulls tissue away from the area that blocks the air passage, making breathing easier for the patient.