Do you snore?
Snoring can be a sign of a serious medical condition called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) that can have serious implications on your general health.
What is obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)?
OSA is a condition where the airway muscles collapse during sleep and result in obstruction of the airway and interruption to breathing.
What are the signs of OSA? Some common signs of OSA are:
- Choking or gasping for air during sleep
- Feeling tired on waking up
- Daytime sleepiness
- Sore, dry throat on waking up
- Headaches on waking
- Poor concentration
- Memory deterioration
- Personality changes
- Anxiety or depression
I think I have OSA. What should I do and who should I see?
The first step is to diagnose whether you have OSA so the appropriate treatment can be chosen. This is done through a sleep study, either at a sleep disorder clinic or at your home. Treatment of OSA may require a multidisciplinary approach involving medical practitioners from different areas of specialties, including dentists, respiratory physicians, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and ENTs.
In order to be able to claim Medicare on the sleep study, you must have a referral from a GP, ENT, or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Why is it important to seek treatment? Isn’t it just snoring?
Not everyone who snores has OSA. If you are diagnosed with OSA, however, it can have a significant effect on your general health. It may lead to heart disease, diabetes, increase in blood pressure, and increased risk of a stroke or heart attack.
What are the treatment options for OSA?
There are several treatment modalities for OSA. The severity of OSA dictates which treatment option is best suited for each person. A combination of treatment modalities may be necessary to achieve the maximum results.
The different treatment options are:
- Mandibular advancement splint
- Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Mandibular advancement splint: A mandibular advancement splint is an appliance worn during sleep that helps keep the airway open. They can be made by dentists with special training in construction of mandibular advancement splints, working in cooperation with respiratory physicians. A comprehensive assessment of the mouth and airways is necessary to see if this is a suitable treatment option. Wearing a mandibular advancement splint may alter the bite in the long term.
Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). A CPAP machine consists of a mask that goes over the nose at night. Air is delivered through the mask and helps keep the airway open.
Surgery: The surgical procedure chosen depends on the main contributing factors to airway obstruction. Possible areas of surgery include the nose, tonsils, excess soft tissue at back of throat, tongue, and re-positioning of the upper and/or lower jaws.
Other methods of reducing the severity of OSA include:
- Weight loss
- Regular exercise
- Sleeping on the side rather than on the back
If you feel that yourself or your partner could benefit from a Sleep Study, which can be done in the comfort of your own bed, speak to your G.P or call us. To speak with one of our friendly staff, please call Salamanca Dental on 6288 8070, contact us here or book online