Sleep Apnea Treatment in Easton, PA
Obstructive sleep apnea is an ongoing condition that disrupts sleep.
When breathing is paused or becomes shallow, one will often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep, making the quality of sleep poor. Sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices, and/or surgery.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is often an effective alternative to CPAP for patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
Many patients suffering from sleep apnea can find relief using a custom removable Oral Appliance Therapy appliance, which adjusts the position of the lower jaw and tongue to minimize airway obstruction.
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, a breathing device called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or surgery to widen the breathing passages by shrinking, stiffening, or removing excess tissue in the mouth and throat or resetting the lower jaw may be helpful. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over your mouth and/or nose and gently blows air into your throat. This air pressure helps keep your airway open while you sleep. Surgery to shrink the tissue involves a small shot into the breathing passages. Surgery to stiffen excess tissue requires a small incision in the tissue and inserting a piece of stiff plastic.
Screening for Sleep Apnea
The Eccovision Acoustic Diagnostic Pharyngometer and Rhinometer provides valuable information about airway size and stability. It is a highly useful tool for prescreening for sleep apnea disordered breathing as well as for titrating oral appliances for sleep apnea. The devise uses acoustic reflection technology to accurately map out the size, structure and collapsibility of the oral and nasal airway.
The Pharyngometer allows users to quickly and easily measure a patient’s pharyngeal airway size and stability from the oral pharyngeal junction to the glottis. Studies have shown a clear relationship between the existences of obstructive sleep apnea and a narrow collapsible airway.
The phayngometer accomplishes these measurements using acoustic reflection technology, similar to a ship’s sonar. The test is minimally invasive and takes 2-5 minutes to complete.
Sleep dentists use the pharyngometer to screen patients prior to a diagnosis. A narrow airway reading on the device correlates to a higher apnea hypopnea indices once the person is diagnosed. After the diagnosis, the pharyngometer helps to show us how the airway changes in the response to the mandibular advancement with an oral appliance.
The acoustic rhinometer allows for quick and easy measurements of nasal patency. Soundwaves are sent up the nasal passageway and they are reflected back out in such a way that the rhinometer can accurately map out the topography of the nasal airway. This allows us to clearly identify the location and severity of any obstruction in the airway. The test is completely non-invasive and takes 30 seconds to complete.
It is well documented that a compromised nasal airway is a cause of mouth breathing which can lead to a worsening of obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. Mouth breathing is children is a primary cause behind facial growth and orthodontic problems. Issues with a compromised airway will usually require a referral to an ENT doctor.