Are you getting the rest you need? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a full one-third of Americans don't sleep enough, resulting in poor job performance, daytime fatigue, depression and systemic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. At the Dental Center for Snoring & Sleep Apnea in Madison, Dr. Angela Bauer treats a common condition called sleep-disordered breathing, helping scores of people get much-needed healthy rest.
Your sleep pattern
There are five sleep cycles which should happen each night. The most restful is REM, or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. Without it, a person feels tired and not truly rested.
A common barrier to REM and a good night's sleep is something called sleep-disordered breathing. It's characterized by extremely loud snoring and periods of complete breathing cessation, or sleep apnea. A particular kind of sleep apnea called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, happens when the soft muscles at the back of the throat relax and cover the airway.
Snoring results and so does a degree of oxygen deprivation. Potentially dangerous, sleep apnea needs an accurate diagnosis by a sleep physician and precise treatment as well.
Diagnosing and treating sleep-disordered breathing in Madison
If your loved ones complain about your loud snoring and you know you're not resting well, tell your primary care provider. He or she likely will refer you to a sleep physician for in-office or at-home sleep testing involving:
- EEG, or brainwave monitoring
- EKG, electrocardiogram to trace heart rhythm
- EOG, an electro-occulogram which records eye movements as you sleep
- Electromyogram which measures muscular movement
Your pulse, respirations and other vital signs will be monitored carefully, too, helping the doctor determine if you have sleep apnea.
A common treatment for sleep apnea is something called CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This bedside machine delivers air through a nasal mask, helping the back of the throat stay open as you sleep.
Some individuals, however, find CPAP difficult to deal with. So, Dr. Bauer offers a simpler and more easily tolerated solution.
Oral appliance therapy
Dr. Bauer uses custom-made oral appliances to help patients with the snoring and disrupted sleep of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Elastic Mandibular Advancement Appliances, or EMA appliances, place the bottom jaw more forward, opening the airway and keeping it open through the night. With stretchable elastic bands on either side of the appliance, this simple device allows the individual to talk and even drink fluids without removing the appliance.
Convenient, comfortable and best of all, effective, EMA appliances work by themselves or in conjunction with CPAP therapy. Weight loss, sleeping on one side and elevating the head of the bed are helpful strategies frequently combined with appliance therapy and CPAP. Your sleep apnea dentist will determine the right type of appliance therapy best suited to your diagnosis and personal preferences.
Your best night's rest
Let Dr. Angela Bauer and her team at the Dental Center for Snoring & Sleep Apnea help. For a consultation, please call (608) 423-3615.