Diagnosis and Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Man sleeping peacefully Sleep apnea is a condition that causes breathing to be repeatedly interrupted while a patient is sleeping. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when throat muscles relax and block the airway during sleep. Often, individuals with OSA will experience a range of negative effects, but they will be unaware that these symptoms are a result of the condition. Drs. Joe McIntyre and Dan Whiting work with certified sleep specialists and primary care physicians to provide effective treatment for sleep apnea, helping to protect the overall wellbeing of patients in Bridgewater, VA, and surrounding areas. Contact our practice today to schedule a consultation and learn more.

Symptoms of OSA

Many patients with OSA will snore loudly as it becomes difficult for air to pass through the nose and throat. Constant exhaustion is another common symptom of OSA. Additional side effects can include chronic headaches, sore throat or dry mouth upon waking, irritability, forgetfulness, difficulty with critical thinking, and depression. To perform an accurate diagnosis, we will have you undergo an at-home sleep study from the comfort of your own bed, which is afterward evaluated by a certified sleep physician. During a sleep study, special devices will record your brain activity, eye movements, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, and the amount of oxygen in your blood while you sleep. Based on the results, we will begin developing a personalized treatment plan.

Sleep apnea treatment can greatly improve your quality of life and help to prevent a range of health concerns, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. By allowing you to get a full night's rest, you can go about your daily routine feeling rested and refreshed.

Sleep Apnea Treatment with CPAP Therapy

For many patients, OSA can be effectively treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. With this approach, you will wear a special mask that is attached to a small device. The device will supply a steady flow of air while you sleep. The level of air pressure will be carefully calibrated in order to keep your airways open, ensuring clear and uninterrupted breathing. After six months or one year have passed, we will perform a second sleep study to evaluate your progress.

Sleep Apnea Treatment with an Oral Appliance

Although CPAP therapy is very effective for sufferers with more severe cases of sleep apnea, many patients have difficulty sleeping with the device. For mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea, splint therapy may offer a comfortable and effective form of treatment. Splint therapy involves wearing a custom oral appliance at night. The appliance will be specially designed to gradually move the lower jaw into proper position, helping to prevent the airway from becoming blocked. Just like with CPAP therapy, we will schedule a follow-up sleep study after six months or one year to ensure your appliance is working properly.

Benefits of Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea treatment can greatly improve your quality of life and help to prevent a range of health concerns, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. By allowing you to get a full night's rest, you can go about your daily routine feeling rested and refreshed. You may also find that you have a better work performance. If your loud snoring often keeps your partner awake at night, sleep apnea treatment can also benefit him or her.

Schedule a Consultation Today

To learn more about our approach to sleep apnea treatment, contact our practice today.