Sleep apnea is essentially your body choking on itself and causing repeated episodes of partial or complete suffocation sometimes lasting a minute or more. These choking and suffocating episodes repeat constantly throughout the night causing a myriad of health complications including increased risk of stroke, heart attack and even death. The cause of this collapse in the airway is usually due to the soft tissues in the mouth , tongue or throat closing down and blocking airflow during sleep. The first sign of this is usually snoring which happens when you are attempting to breathe through a narrow airway. If left untreated snoring often escalates to full OSA where the narrow airway is now completely blocked. Nearly 1 in 4 adults over 30 are unknowingly suffering from at least mild sleep apnea.
If you answered yes to two or more of the above questions then you should have your sleep health evaluated. Please take a moment and fill out our sleep health evaluation test, results are available to you immediately.
Our practice uses the Eccovision Acoustic Pharyngometer / Rhinometer system from Sleep Group Solutions to test our patients nasal and oral airways. The device sends sound waves into the airway and the reflected sound waves are measured by the machine to tell us how big the airway is. The Rhinometer measures the nasal airway and the Pharyngometer measures the oral airway. Both systems are FDA cleared and a highly effective way for us to identify the site and severity of airway collapse as it related to snoring and sleep related breathing problems.
In order to be diagnosed with sleep apnea an overnight sleep test is required. Historically this meant the patient would have to go visit a sleep lab or sleep center for an overnight study in their facility. This was an inconvenient and costly procedure that most people would prefer to avoid. Our practice uses the ARES system which patients can take home and wear in the comfort of their own home and bed while being tested. The device is as easy to wear as a baseball cap and it records detailed information about sleep quality and any sleep related breathing events that may occur. The data is then uploaded from the machine to our physician colleagues who provide medical interpretation and diagnosis.