Snoring & Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment
How Do I Get a Diagnosis?
Sleep technology has come a long way, and methods to test for sleep apnea can now be done at home instead of in a sleep lab. When testing at home, you’ll get a sleep monitoring device to collect data while you sleep to later be analyzed by a sleep therapy specialist.
The sleep study reveals how many times you experience hypopnea, which is shallow breathing, and apnea, the total stoppage of breath. These two events are examined to determine what is known as the apnea/hypopnea index, or AHI.
If you were told that you had an AHI score of twenty, it would mean that you were having periods of shallow breathing or stoppages of breath an average of twenty times per hour as you sleep. An AHI score of less than fifteen is considered to be mild obstructive sleep apnea, and a score of fifteen to twenty is classified as “moderate,” while an AHI over thirty would be ranked as “severe.”
Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured?
There are currently no cures for Sleep Apnea but there are steps you can take to greatly reduce the effects and impact that Sleep Apnea may have on your daily life. Dependenting on the severity, the steps may range from loosing weight to, in the most extreme cases, surgery. But not to worry, there are effecting treatment options available.
What are my Treatment Options?
What is an Oral Appliance?
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, oral appliances are now considered as the first and foremost treatment for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. Since oral appliances are suggested for patients who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy or who have less severe forms of sleep apnea, there are some patients who may not be ideal candidates for oral appliance use.
The DNA Appliance
The DNA appliance® system is a FDA registered Biomimetic oral appliance, which harnesses the body’s natural ability for self-correction through gene environmental interactions by using developmental mechanisms that are encoded at the level of the human genome. Some sleep appliances are simply used to reposition the lower jaw. In contrast, vaccines harness the body’s abilities to fight off an infection before it happens and that is the principle of the DNA appliance® system. The DNA appliance® system aims to put the body back into its correct developmental path – a biomimetic approach. This makes the DNA appliance® system unique in upper airway, orthodontic and craniofacial correction.
Unlike traditional braces, the DNA appliance® system is not worn all the time. People who want to get into shape spend some time in the gym – but they also spend time resting and recovering. Using the same principle, the DNA appliance® system is only worn in the early evening, after school or work, and all night while asleep. It is not worn during the day – or while eating – so no one needs to know that you’re in therapy.
Hear What Our Patients Have to Say
My daughter, Mathilda, was diagnosed with sleep apnea at the age of 5. After undergoing routine and recommended surgery to remove her tonsils, uvula and adenoids, she was still struggling with the same symptoms. Namely, nocturnal wakings, snoring, and daytime sleepiness, which was hindering her school work and impacting negatively on her behavior.
We sought Dr. Greenberg for pioneering treatment to enlarge her airways in the hope she would be able to breathe more efficiently at night. Within seven weeks of her wearing an oral device fitted by Dr. Greenberg and her team in Pasadena, Mathilda showed significant signs of improvement. She was less sleepy in the day and stoppedsnoring at night. Additionally, she had improved concentration at school and we have seen an improvement inher behavior. After a year of wearing the oral device, Mathilda was fitted with a retainer to maintain the progress made.
I was sure the surgery was not effective since it did nothing to enlarge her narrow soft palate, and Mathilda showed no signs of improvement post-operatively. I wish we had been better informed at the time and avoided the trauma of an operation when she could have been treated successfully and conservatively by a skilled orthodontist.I am very grateful for the opportunity to try this oral device treatment and am excited as to how this can help other children like Mathilda who struggle with the ill effects of chronic and severe sleep deprivation.
Thank you Dr. Greenberg for all you and your team have done for Mathilda and our family.
Before my husband had braces (and his palatal expansion appliance) he would snore and stop breathing in his sleep nightly. I would have to nudge him awake enough to tell him to breathe. During the day he would always breathe through his mouth since his nasal passage was so closed up.
After he had his palette expansion he has no problem breathing normally and sleeping the whole night through. He barely snores now. The difference is like day and night. He no longer breaths through his mouth all the time like he used to. It’s amazing! I’d definitely have to say that the palette expansion has given him a new lease on life.
I know that if it wasn’t for expanding my palette as well I would have had so many problems. I wouldn’t have been able to breath well, and would have had a facial deformity. (My upper palette stopped growing when I was a child, while the bottom grew at a normal rate). This is my second palette expansion and this made a difference for the comfort of my mouth. My tongue was cramped and my jaws hurt regularly due to the growth that happened after my braces were removed the first time, including the lack of wearing my retainers so that my teeth could meet comfortably. I was in pain when I first went to Doctor Greenberg and now I feel so much better.Cristan D.