Sleep Apnoea and snoring can affect 2 out of every 10 Australian adults and many people are not aware they have a problem. Sleep apnoea and snoring can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, lack of concentration and poor memory. Over time, medical research has demonstrated links between sleep apnoea and high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
Other symptoms which can occur in untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnoea are personality changes, mood disorders, depression, social side effects, 12 times more likely to be involved in a car accident, low sex drive, poor short-term memory and difficulty in concentrating.
At Daintree Family Dental Clinic we work in conjunction with sleep physicians (medical respiratory specialists) for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnoea. In order to determine the severity of your sleep apnoea, a”sleep study” [polssomnography] is conducted to record your bodies function during sleep. The evaluation closely monitors eye movement, electrical brain activity, muscle activity, heart rate respiratory effort, airflow, and blood oxygen levels. These tests can be carried out in special sleep clinics or in an ambulatory situation in your own home. Once a diagnosis is made by the respiratory physicians treatment options can be determined. Treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnoea suffers may involve the use of an oral appliance and/or a reduction in predisposing factors such as weight loss.
A suite of diagnostic equipment called ECCOVISION [pharyngometer and rhinometer] measures your nasal passages and airway using sound waves. It is used to determine whether your airway enlarges with a change in your jaw position to predetermine if an oral appliance is likely to be effective. This removes some of the trial and error approach as not everyones airway responds favourably to oral appliances. Eccovision can also be used to optimise the positioning of the lower jaw relative to the upper jaw to maximise the airway opening.
Severe sleep apnoea sufferers and those not suitable for appliance therapy have CPAP [continuous positive airway pressure] as their choice of treatment. A mask is worn that is connected to a generator which pumps air into your lungs. It works very well but many people find it difficult to tolerate.
It is important that sleep apnoea is treated as soon as possible as it has detrimental effects to your health and lifestyle.
If you would like further information regarding Sleep apnoea, please contact our practice (02) 6059 3311.