So, this patient reported back to the sleep doctor’s office. He had his oral device with him. He felt great thinking that the oral device worked. He was dreaming now. He couldn’t remember dreaming before. Remember, we always dream in stage 5 of sleep known as REM — rapid eye movement. The severity of the initial condition of the patient kept him from getting into REM and therefore he didn’t dream.
The patient thought that he was sleeping great, but only a sleep test could prove it to the sleep doctor. The sleep doctor agreed to have the patient have a home sleep test (HST) rather that an overnight PSG in a sleep lab at the hospital. That would show if the oral device was working or not. And this is the only way to determine if an oral device is working.
The device may stop a patient from snoring but he can still have too many apnea events. The device may have to be adjusted more and retested with a HST study. This is why it is dangerous to trust just the symptoms rather than a test; many people buy devices online to stop snoring and never know that they have a dangerous condition that could actually kill them.
The patient took the HST home and used it for 2 nights to verify the results. His appointment with the sleep doc to go over the results was amazing. The doctor stated he was glad that there were two nights of data because he wouldn’t have trusted the results with only one night of data.
It turns out that the patient’s apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) had reduced from over 70 events per hour to below 5 events per hour on both nights of the test. The AHI is the rate of breathing disorder per hour during the night. 0-5 is no OSA, 5-15 is mild OSA, 15-30 is moderate OSA, and over 30 is severe OSA. His doctor was amazed! The oral device worked.
This patient finally found a treatment for his OSA that worked for him and that he could tolerate. His wife was sleeping soundly and he had no more bruised ribs!
This was a life changing experience for this patient. Now he could get the insurance he needed, his blood pressure was down, he had no more reflux, and he had no more bad daytime tiredness. All thanks to a little acrylic “mouth guard” he saw sitting on his doctor’s desk that he had to ask about! Remember, you have to be your own advocate when it comes to your health.
Unfortunately, many people with OSA think that the only treatment for the condition is that “mask” (CPAP) and have never heard of the oral device. Visit my website (www.NWSleepDoc.com) and find out about how you can have similar results.
Remember that Medicare and medical insurance cover part of the cost. And our office is the only office in Coeur d’Alene that accepts Medicare assignment for oral appliance therapy for all Medicare patients.
You can read prior episodes of this story online at cdapress.com. Just search on “Snoring Bear.”
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Dr. Donald Johnson founded Northwest Treatment Center for Snoring & Sleep Apnea in Coeur d’Alene to help patients stop their snoring and live free with no limits! Obstructive sleep apnea is usually able to be treated with a small oral appliance. Dr. Johnson’s office is at 114 W. Neider Ave., near Costco. The website for more information is www.NWSleepDoc.com and the office phone is (208) 667-4551. Schedule a free consultation appointment today!