Diagnosing OSA: Livonia Dentist Tells You How

man with a lack of sleepWhat’s an average night’s sleep for you? If it’s not restful, you may feel tired throughout the day. Though trouble sleeping is a fairly common ailment, patients who snore excessively and constantly feel groggy or irritable, may suffer from a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (or OSA). This sleeping disorder keeps sufferers having a successful night’s sleep.

While patients usually don’t know they have OSA, a few studies can confirm it’s presence. Dr. James Stewart, your Livonia dentist, explains which tests and examinations prove you have OSA.

Tests and Examinations that Can Determine if You Have OSA

  • Medical history. Before the doctor can diagnose you with OSA, he needs to know what your everyday sleeping pattern looks like. He may ask you to keep a sleep journal for a couple of weeks. In this journal you should highlight how much you sleep each night and how many naps you take throughout the day. Additionally, include any nighttime tendencies, such as snoring, gasping, or choking. While you may not know if you have any of these habits, your spouse or partner can help you complete those inquiries.
  • Physical exam. Once your sleeping journal is underway, your Livonia dentist will want to examine your nose, throat, and mouth for growths or blockages. These issues tend to occur more frequently in children with enlarged tonsils. However, adults can encounter similar problems by having an enlarge uvula or soft palate.

  • Partaking in sleep studies. For sleep studies, patients undergo one or both types: a polysomnogram (or PSG) or a home-based monitor. The PSG records four main areas: brain activity, eye movement, heart rate, and blood pressure. A PSG test will also take into account how much air you’re taking in. Though Dr. Stewart won’t conduct the sleep study in his office, sleep labs and centers can perform the test and send the dentist the results.
    The home-based monitor records similar data: oxygen levels in your blood, air movement and intake, heart rate, and chest movement. The device is kept in your home to allow you to sleep in a comfortable, familiar setting. Once the necessary data is collected, the doctor formulates an appropriate treatment plan.

Talk to Your Livonia Dentist about Sleep Apnea Detection

If you believe you may suffer from OSA and would like more information on how to test for the sleeping disorder, visit your Livonia dentist. Dr. Stewart can conduct sleep studies and perform in-office check-ups to determine if you have sleep apnea. To schedule an appointment, call our office at (734) 425-4400. Also, visit our website to view services, testimonials, and print patient forms. We look forward to treating patients from Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and surrounding areas.