Snoring is more than an annoyance to those around you; it may be an alarm bell indicating a much more serious problem. Loud snoring may indicate Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
What can I do about Snoring?
If you feel snoring is a problem, discuss it with your dentist or doctor. You may be a suitable candidate for a snoring oral appliance, which is one of the most efficient and effective methods for treating primary snoring.
Snoring appliances are made and fitted by your dentist and work by moving your jaw and tongue forward, thereby creating more space for you to properly breathe during the night. This reduces or eliminates snoring, but sometimes snoring indicates a more serious problem called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
How does snoring indicate Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are similar respiratory sleep disorders. Snoring noise is produced when the air you breathe vibrates the tissues of the airway due to a blockage or narrowing of the airways (nose, mouth or throat). Snoring is often an indicator of something more serious called sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when your breathing regularly stops or is slowed for 10 seconds or longer due to blocked or narrowed airways.
Airway blockage may be caused by excess tissue in the throat or nasal passages, large tonsils, a large tongue and sometimes the structure of the jaw itself.
Why is Obstructive Sleep Apnea a serious problem?
Being constantly awoken during sleep robs your body of the rest it needs to function properly during the day.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the number of stops (apnea) or slow breathing (hypopnea) per hour.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea symptoms include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Waking up feeling exhausted from a normal night of sleep
Symptoms that your bed partner is likely aware of are:
- Frequent episodes of obstructed breathing during sleep
- Snoring, gasps, choking or gurgling sound
- Bruxism (tooth grinding)
Long term symptoms:
- Increased risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease
- Sexual dysfunction
- Compromised immune system
- Learning and memory problems
- Poor mental and emotional health
How do you test for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is tested by performing a sleep study, either in the comfort of your home or in a sleep lab, where a medical recording device is used to record the involuntary body functions that occur during sleep.
For Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a sleep study needs to record the following:
- Airflow and respiratory effort
- Blood oxygen
- Body position
Do I have to sleep in a laboratory to be tested?
Not necessarily. You may be eligible for a home sleep study. A home sleep study is similar to a typical laboratory sleep study except that it is performed in the comfort of your own home using a small portable-monitoring device, such as the MediByte®, that you wear while you sleep.
Am I eligible for a home sleep test?
Home sleep testing is a recognized procedure for the diagnosis and/or monitoring of sleep disordered breathing. Devices such as the MediByte® help detect Obstructive Sleep Apnea in most people. If you meet the following criteria, you can take a home sleep test.
- You are between 18 and 65 years of age;
- You snore or are at risk of mild, moderate or severe sleep apnea;
- You have no other medical conditions.
See your doctor or dentist for complete details.
What is the MediByte®?
The MediByte® is a small device that records your body’s level of snoring and sleep apnea. The MediByte® consists of the MediByte® recorder, one or two belts, related cables and accessories.
Is the MediByte® difficult to use?
No. The MediByte® is one of the easiest Home Sleep Testing devices available on the market.
- A healthcare professional will show you how to wear the MediByte®.
- An instructional video is also available for you to watch.
How long will I have to use the MediByte®?
You may have to sleep with the MediByte® for two complete nights.
- One night to establish a baseline assessment of your Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- One night with an oral appliance or CPAP to establish the level of improvement and monitor treatment effectiveness
What are the treatment options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Treatment options include:
- Use of an oral appliance
- Use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine
- Weight loss
- Oropharyngeal exercises
- Surgical procedure
Ready for your sleep study? Watch the following video for setup instructions.