Do you always feel tired? Has your partner complained that you snore loudly, or have they expressed concern because you sometimes stop breathing at night? You might be fairly sure that you have sleep apnea. Given that your symptoms are relatively easy to recognize, you might even be tempted not to undergo a sleep study. However, as you will learn in the following information, a sleep study is a vital part of finding relief from sleep apnea. Let’s discuss the answer to the question, “Do I need a sleep study to treat sleep apnea?”
What Is Involved in a Sleep Study?
When you undergo a sleep study, a machine monitors you while you sleep, either at home or in a sleep clinic. The machine keeps track of your breathing, heart rate, bodily movements, and other vital data. Then, a sleep professional analyzes the data to determine, not just whetheryou have sleep apnea but also how severe the condition is. If you do not have sleep apnea, it is possible that you will be diagnosed with a different sleep disorder.
The Importance of a Sleep Study
Undergoing a sleep study is vital for several reasons:
- It eliminates guesswork. Rather than just suspecting that you have sleep apnea, you will know for sure.
- It establishes the foundation for treatment. A doctor or dentist won’t treat you for sleep apnea unless you have received an official sleep apnea diagnosis. After all, they are concerned about your health and want to focus on addressing the root cause of your symptoms.
- It gives a basis for comparison. After you have established a good routine with your sleep apnea treatment, your general physician or dentist might recommend that you undergo a second sleep study. This second sleep study will let your care team know whether your treatment is accomplishing its goal of helping you enjoy restful, rejuvenating sleep.
A Step Beyond a Sleep Study
A sleep study can furnish you with much valuable information about the quality of your sleep, but it cannot tell you why you are suffering from sleep apnea. That is why your holistic dentist may also recommend that you undergo pharyngometry and rhinometry tests, both of which are advanced diagnostic tools that use sound waves to analyze your airway. Armed with information from pharyngometry and rhinometry, your dentist will be in the best possible position to design an effective sleep apnea treatment plan for you.
A sleep study can be your first step toward improved health and a higher quality of life. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, visit your dentist or physician to request this invaluable diagnostic test as soon as possible.
About the Author
Dr. William B. Langston is a holistic dentist in Sunnyvale whose practice focuses on improving his patients’ overall wellness through smart oral care. He has all the equipment necessary to perform pharyngometry and rhinometry testing, and he offers both CPAP and oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea. To learn more about he may be able to help you achieve a better night’s rest, contact our office at 972-270-6533.