SDB (Sleep-disordered breathing) is a group of medical conditions that are characterized by abnormalities in the quality or pattern of respiratory activity. These include snoring, UARS (upper airway resistance syndrome), and OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).
All of these conditions involve the restriction of the airway. With snoring and upper respiratory resistance syndrome, the airway is partially blocked. It is important to address these conditions before they become apnea, which can have much more serious consequences.
Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing, known as apneic events. During these events, the blood oxygen level drops, triggering “fight or flight response,” that is responsible for releasing adrenalin, raising blood pressure, and increasing heart rate. The patient rarely awakens fully during these events, and therefore is not consciously aware that breathing stopped. However, he or she experiences the same physiological effects that accompany panic, resulting in fragmented (disturbed) sleep.
At Kuljic, DDS & Team, we screen and manage sleep-disordered breathing, using an Interdisciplinary approach. We notice signs such as facial-skeletal development, excess tissue, mouth breathing, tongue posture, and specific types of tooth wear often omitted as causes for poor sleep, chronic fatigue, cognitive problems and many more.
Rather than relying on guesswork, when we detect signs of apnea or related conditions, we use a high-resolution pulse oximetry screening. It provides objective, detailed, accurate data, which is used to assess the patient’s risk factor. If the screening returns a positive result, he will review possible management strategies and recommend a consult to help attain a diagnosis.
Several treatment options are available, depending on the nature and severity of the sleep disordered breathing, as well as the patient’s personal preferences. The decision is made on a case-by-case basis, depending on what is best for each individual. We believe that accurate, early diagnosis and cooperation among health care providers are essential for patient health and well-being.
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