Feb 17

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a medical condition, simply put, where a patient during some cycle of their sleep either cannot inhale a breath or has difficulty inflating their lungs to an adequate volume.

This is not just snoring.  Almost all patients with OSA snore, however, during an obstructive event, these patients are attempting to breath.  Yet no air or very little air is moving.  Their throats are either occluded or stopped by their tongue or the relaxed muscles of their throat.

During these events, the patient’s pulse rate goes up and critical blood oxygen goes down and other attempts to “clear” or breath get more labored.  If left untreated, OSA can cause severe daytime sleepiness, weight gain, gastroesophageal reflux, hypertension, multiple cardiac issues, depression and even death.  Only physicians can diagnose OSA from a sleep study test.  Some treatment options vary from a continuous pressure airway machine to surgery to oral appliances.  Although not as effective as a CPAP machine, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine now recognizes that oral appliances are acceptable as first line treatment modalities for patients with mild to moderate OSA.  The appliance positions your jaw forward and open a little while you sleep to keep your throat open.

Dr. Dibling will measure your airway space with an echo measuring device called a pharyngometer.  He will make sure the appliance is in its most ideal and comfortable position to keep your throat open.  In working with both local cardiologists and sleep center physicians, they will make sure to reduce or eliminate your OSA events.

Most medical insurance companies will pay for the appliance and our office will get a pre-certification or pre-authorization from your carrier so you will know what if any out of pocket expenses you may need to incur.