Sleep evaluation screening tests help doctors determine if you may be suffering from a sleeping disorder. Sleeping disorders can be detrimental to your health, particularly if untreated. Millions of Americans suffer from sleeping disorders, the most common being obstructive sleep apena. This disorder is easily treated; however, many people go undiagnosed.
The staff at the Bethesda Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is specially trained to treat sleeping disorders. Our simple treatment method can make a world of difference to people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA. If you think that you might be suffering from OSA or any other sleeping disorder, speak with your doctor. They can walk you through sleep evaluation techniques to help diagnose the reason behind your symptoms.
If you have a sleep disorder that you aren’t seeking treatment for then you are a danger to yourself and others. Untreated sleeping disorders are the cause of thousands of vehicle accidents. They also negatively affect your body in a number of ways. Sleep disorders such as OSA can cause high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and even death.
There are a number of sleep evaluation tests available. One of the most common is the STOP BANG Screening Questionnaire. This specific sleep evaluation test focuses on one of the most common sleeping disorders, obstructive sleep apnea. OSA prevents your body from getting the sleep and oxygen it needs. Frequent pauses in breathing while asleep stress the heart and brain. They also impact a number of other systems. This makes this disorder quite dangerous if left untreated.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends the STOP BANG Screening Questionnaire for people who exhibit the symptoms of OSA:
The STOP BANG Screening questionnaire assesses people for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The acronym spells out the tool’s eight questions, which assess the person’s: Snoring, Tiredness, Observation of stopping breathing, high blood Pressure, Body mass index, Age, Neck size, and Gender. Based on age and Body Mass Index (BMI), a higher score indicates a greater likelihood the person has OSA.
According to the website for the STOP BANG screening questionnaire:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most prevalent sleep=breathing disturbance, affecting 24% of men and 9% of women, in the general population. An estimated 82% of men and 92% of women with moderate to severe OSA have not been diagnosed.
These numbers show exactly how prevalent OSA is among the general population. The STOP BANG Screening Questionnaire will allow people to evaluate their risk. They can then confidently know if they need further sleep evaluation. This test could potentially save thousands of lives every year. If you or a loved one exhibits the symptoms of OSA then it’s a good idea to participate in the questionnaire. Symptoms include:
Repetitive obstruction of the upper airway often resulting in oxygen desaturation and arousals from sleep
Excessive daytime sleepiness
When OSA goes untreated, people can experience dangerous health issues as a result:
OSA is a serious condition that diminishes quality of life and is also associated with many common comorbid conditions. Studies have shown that patients with OSA will have an increased incidence of:
Coronary artery diseases
Congestive heart failure
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
This sleeping disorder is so dangerous that it can actually shorten your lifespan by 20 years or more.
Many treatment options are available for obstructive sleep apnea. Treatments not only treat OSA itself, but they also help reduce other problems caused by the sleeping disorder. When patients are able to breathe well during sleep then they sleep better. Both of these things reduce daytime drowsiness, reduce high blood pressure, and reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes, or suffering from a stroke.
Often times, OSA can be treated with a combination of lifestyle changes and treatment with appliances. For example, if you are overweight, then losing weight combined with a dental appliance or a CPAP machine can treat your sleeping disorder. Many people find a CPAP machine, also called a continuous positive airway pressure machine, to be bulky and uncomfortable. Thankfully, many people can find relief from their sleep apnea symptoms with a special dental appliance.
Qualified dentists are trained in the skill of treating obstructive sleep apnea. They are able to craft a mouthpiece that is specifically designed to support your tongue and jaw. It helps keep your airway open while you sleep without the constricting mask and hose of a CPAP machine. Many people prefer this form of treatment due to its portability as well.
If sleep evaluation leads to an OSA diagnosis then discuss using a mouthpiece to treat your sleeping disorder. Find a qualified dentist in your area that has experience treating sleep apnea and you can be on your way towards a more restful night of sleep. Don’t let your health decline by not seeking treatment.