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- Fast Facts ►
- What is Sleep Apnea ►
- Symptoms of Sleep Apnea ►
- Why treat snoring ►
- Home Sleep Testing ►
- Treatment Options ►
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According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 12-18 million Americans have moderate to severe sleep-disordered breathing and most people with sleep disordered breathing are undiagnosed. Interruptions in breathing are potentially serious medical conditions and should be evaluated by a physician to determine whether treatment is needed. Untreated sleep – disordered breathing has been linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and risk factors, including high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Sleep disordered breathing occurs in people of all ages, but is more common in men, the elderly and overweight individuals.
A study was performed following 1,522 generally healthy men and women for an average of 13.8 years and participants with severe sleep-disordered breathing who were not treated were four times more likely to die from any cause and five times more likely to die from cardiovascular conditions.
According to the National Sleep Foundation:
• 1 in 4 men and 1 in 10 women suffer from sleep apnea;
• 17% of middle-aged people have moderate apnea;
• Middle-age people with severe apnea were 46% more likely to die of a heart attack;
• There are more than 20 million Obstructed Sleep Apnea patients, only 5% of which have been diagnosed and treated;
• Breathing problems for as little as 11 minutes a night double the risk of death.
What is Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from at least ten seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Similarly, each abnormally shallow breathing event is called a hypopnea. Sleep apnea is often diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram, or “sleep study”.
Sleep Apnea (from Greek, meaning “without breath”) is one of the most common sleep disorders in which breathing stops and then restarts again recurrently during slumber. More than 40 million Americans are estimated to suffer from a sleep breathing disorder and 20 million suffer from Obstructive sleep Apnea (OSA). Sleep Apnea is considered severe when it occurs every 2-3 minutes.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the airway temporarily collapses during sleep, preventing or restricting breathing for up to 10 seconds or more. OSA patients commonly suffer from low oxygen levels in the blood, high blood pressure and an overall decrease in the quality of life due to daytime drowsiness and headaches. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes.
Such events can occur several hundred times a night, severely disrupting sleep. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or chocking sound. The term “sleep disordered breathing” (SDB) includes a spectrum of respiratory disorders ranging in severity from snorting to OSA.
Sleep apnea usually is a chronic condition that disrupts your sleep 3 or more nights each week. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow.
This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.
There are three forms of sleep apnea: central (CSA), obstructive (OSA), and complex or mixed sleep apnea (i.e., a combination of central and obstructive) constituting 0.4%, 84% and 15% of cases respectively. In CSA, breathing is interrupted by a lack of respiratory effort; in OSA, breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow despite respiratory effort, and snoring is common.
· In general, the structures involved are the uvula and the soft palate which can cause a passageway blockage and an irregular airflow.
· Obstruction in the nasal passageway
· Throat weakness, causing the throat to collapse during sleep
· The tissues at the top of airways causing vibrations
· Mispositioned jaw
· Sleeping on one’s back, which may result in the tongue dropping to the back of the mouth
· Fat gathering in and around the throat
Regardless of the type, an individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening.
Types of Sleep Apnea:
· Obstructive Sleep Apnea
· When airflow is blocked by a nasal obstruction or soft tissue in the palate, throat, or tongue, forcing you to struggle for breath; it’s the most common apnea type.
· Central Sleep Apnea: A rare form caused by a problem in the central nervous system responsible for breathing.
· Mixed Sleep Apnea: A combination of obstructive and central apnea.
· HSS (Home Sleep Test): In order to help diagnose and treat your condition we may recommend a simple to use home sleep study available for qualified patients to test for suspected sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea Symptoms Include:
• Loud Snoring
• Always tired, trouble concentrating and staying awake
• Waking with headaches
• Waking with a choking sensation
• Excessive sweating at night
• Waking with dry mouth
• Increased sexual dysfunction
• Frequent trips to the bathroom at night
• Restless sleep, tossing and turning
• Rapid weight gain
Why Treat Snoring
Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound, due to obstructed airflow during breathing while sleeping. In some cases, the sound may be soft, but in other cases, it can be loud and unpleasant. Snoring during sleep may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Snoring causes sleep deprivation to snorers and those around them, as well as daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus and a decreased libido. It can also cause significant psychological and social damage to sufferers. Multiple studies reveal a positive correlation between loud snoring and risk of heart attack (approximately +34% chance) and stroke (approximately +67% chance).
Though snoring is often considered a minor affliction, snorers can sometimes suffer severe impairment of lifestyle and researchers have discovered a statistically significant improvement in marital relations after snoring was surgically corrected.
If your snoring is affecting your sleep, it’s also affecting your waking hours. Snoring-induced sleep deprivation is often the culprit behind all sorts of daytime problems like headaches, irritability, poor memory, diminished concentration and lower job performance. No one thinks, acts or looks their best when they haven’t gotten enough sleep. And if you share your snoring with a bedmate, that goes double.
Home Sleep Testing
Sleep studies are tests that measure how well you sleep and how your body responds to sleep problems. These tests can help your doctor find out whether you have a sleep disorder and how severe it is.
Sleep studies are important because untreated sleep disorders can raise your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and other medical conditions. Sleep disorders also have been linked to an increased risk of injury, such as falling (in the elderly) and car accidents.
People usually aren’t aware of their breathing and movements while sleeping. They may never think to talk to their doctor about issues that might be related to sleep problems.
However, sleep disorders can be treated. Talk with your doctor if you snore regularly or feel very tired while at work or school most days of the week.
Diagnosing sleep apnea used to be an expensive and inconvenient process requiring an overnight stay in a sleep lab or hospital. A technician observes the patient and records sleeping habits using audio and video equipment. Many sleep centers operate at full capacity causing 4-6 week delays in patient testing and waiting for results.
The home sleep test is more convenient for you. Many experts agree that testing sleep in your normal home environment offers many advantages to the laboratory setting, which is admittedly uncomfortable and unrealistic.
Lower coast, about 10% less than an in-lab sleep study.
Increased comfort from sleeping in your own bed wirelessly.
Improved health with results and therapy options, all in less than a week.
Your doctor might be able to diagnose a sleep disorder based on your sleep schedule and habits. However, he or she also might need the results from sleep studies and other medical tests to diagnose a sleep disorder.
Oral Appliance Therapy:
Our sleep apnea therapy and treatment philosophy is geared toward treating sleep disordered breathing in patients who cannot or will not tolerate a CPAP.
Best estimates from medical sources indicate that one of five adults has sleep apnea and that the prevalence of sleep apnea is much greater in the middle-aged and older. Less than twenty percent of seniors that have sleep apnea have been diagnosed. Fewer yet have been treated. Of those who have been treated by CPAP (mask and pump), over fifty percent are unable to use this method.
Oral appliances are recommended by the Academy of Sleep Medicine (the group that establishes protocol for all treatment of sleep disorders) as the preferred treatment for mild and moderate sleep apnea as well as for those who cannot tolerate CPAP. FDA-approved oral sleep appliances or dental appliances for sleep apnea prevent your jaw and tongue from closing your airway, which is the cause of snoring and sleep apnea.
An oral appliance may also be custom made for patients who do not have sleep apnea but snore loudly.
Patients can consult with our sleep specialists to determine the best course of action.
At Sleep Health NOW, we understand that billing and insurance can be very confusing. We make every effort to answer your questions and assist you in understanding the process.
We’ll contact your insurance company up front to check benefits, determine if we’re in your insurance network and find out if a referral from your primary physician is necessary. We’ll also give you a good idea whether you’ll be responsible for any out-of-pocket payment.
Almost every insurance company covers sleep studies, however, there can be restrictions. Sleep services are provided for, but not limited to, the following companies: We also offer a private pay plan option which can be customized into monthly payments.
Here is a current list of insurance carriers we are accepting. We continue to add to this list, so please contact us for updates and options.
AARP Healthcare Options
AARP Medicare Complete
Bankers Life Casualty
Blue Cross Federal
Blue Cross Blue Shield
First Choice Health Network
First Health Network
Great West Healthcare
Harrison Electrical Trust
Kaiser Added Choice
Mutual of Omaha
ODS City of Portland
Providence Health Plan
Uniform Medical Plan
Yamhill County CCO
Note: Sleep Health Now provides pre-authorizations on all referrals if insurance requires. If you do not see your insurance listed, please call for more information.