OSA Diagnosis and Treatment
If you or a loved one recognizes some of these common symptoms and risk factors for OSA, your primary care physician or dentist can refer you to a sleep specialist. Many types of physicians and dentists specialize in treating sleep disorders.
A sleep test will confirm your diagnosis. The gold standard of sleep testing is called polysomnography. It measures brain waves, eye and chin movements, heart rate and rhythm, and respiration. Many patients opt for the cheaper and less intrusive home sleep study. This simplified test tracks your breathing, oxygen levels, and breathing effort from the comfort of your bed. If you have a particular heart, neuromuscular, or breathing problem, an overnight sleep study at a sleep center may be the better option.
For mild sleep apnea cases, the physician or dentist may recommend lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking. A nasal decongestant or other medication may be prescribed for those with allergies. For those with moderate to severe cases, surgery or therapies — such as positive airway pressure devices or oral appliances — may be the best solution.