To determine whether you have Sleep Apnea, our doctors will begin by reviewing your complete medical history and performing a physical examination of your mouth, neck, and throat. If your bed partner has mentioned hearing you stop breathing intermittently during the night, it is important that you let us know.
This office is equipped with state-of-the-art cone beam CT imaging systems that can help our doctor visualize your airway, sinuses, and jaws with minimal radiation required. Each scan is read by a Board Certified Radiologist to ensure accuracy and maximum benefit to you. These results will be utilized by Dr. Werleman and shared with your medical provider.
For an accurate diagnosis, you may be asked to complete a sleep monitoring study. For a lab study, you will be sent to a sleep laboratory, where you will be connected to monitors that track your breathing, heart rate, movement, and other factors as you sleep.
In some cases, a home testing may be available. This convenient option allows you to use a monitoring device in the comfort of your own home, then return the device for the results to be read.
Once testing is complete, you will have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Werleman to go over the results and discuss treatment options.
Sleep apnea is highly treatable. The effective treatment of sleep apnea begins with the screening visit and determining which of the three types of apnea you are experiencing:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Central sleep apnea (CSA)
- Children’s sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by complete or partial obstructions of the upper airway. With OSA, the diaphragm and chest muscles work harder to open the obstructed airway and pull air into the lungs. It can reduce the flow of oxygen to vital organs and cause irregular rhythms.
How is OSA Diagnosed?
To diagnose obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor will perform a physical exam and take a medical and sleep history. The doctor may also ask people who live with you about your sleeping habits. You might also be asked to take a sleep test called a polysomnogram, or PSG. Sleep testing is performed overnight in a sleep lab and is supervised by a trained technologist. A board-certified sleep physician will interpret the findings, identify the correct diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain temporarily stops sending signals to the muscles that control breathing. CSA is most common in people with certain medical issues, such as obesity, Parkinson disease, problems affecting the brain stem, heart failure, or use of some medications, such as narcotic painkillers.
Children’s Sleep Apnea is uncommon, but serious. See our page on Children’s Sleep Apnea for more information. If you think your child may be suffering from Sleep Apnea, call us for a consultation right away.