Sleep Apnea Doctor
Do I Need a Sleep Apnea Doctor?
When it comes to sleep apnea, it's important to see a doctor who specializes in this condition. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person's breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. This can cause loud snoring, gasping for air, and daytime sleepiness, among other symptoms. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Which Doctors Handle Sleep Apnea?
There are a few different types of doctors who can diagnose and treat sleep apnea. The most common type is a sleep medicine physician, who is a medical doctor who has completed additional training in sleep medicine. These doctors can perform a sleep study to diagnose sleep apnea, as well as prescribe treatment options such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.
Another type of doctor who can diagnose and treat sleep apnea is an Otolaryngologist, or ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor. These doctors have expertise in the anatomy of the upper airway and can perform surgeries to correct certain types of sleep apnea.
Pulmonologists, neurologists, and primary care physicians can also be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. However, it's often best to see a sleep medicine physician or an ENT doctor for a thorough evaluation and treatment plan.
When looking for a sleep apnea doctor, it's important to find one who is board-certified in sleep medicine and who has experience treating sleep apnea. You can ask for recommendations from your primary care physician, or search for a doctor on the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's website.
When you see a sleep apnea doctor, they will likely perform a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis. This can be done in a sleep center or at home with a portable device. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. This involves using a machine that delivers air pressure through a mask worn during sleep. The air pressure helps to keep the airway open, preventing interruptions in breathing. Other treatment options include lifestyle changes such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol and sleeping on your side. Some patients may require surgery to correct certain types of sleep apnea. The distribution of body fat, in particular, can impact airway pressure. A DEXA Scan is the only accurate way to see body fat distribution. On the other hand, alcohol relaxes muscles thereby allowing them to more easily collapse the airway.
It's important to follow the treatment plan recommended by your sleep apnea doctor, as well as to keep in touch with them to monitor your progress. With proper treatment, most people with sleep apnea are able to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Sleep Apnea? Next Steps:
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that requires the attention of a specialist in sleep medicine. A sleep apnea doctor will be able to diagnose the condition through a sleep study and recommend treatment options such as CPAP therapy and lifestyle changes. It's important to find a board-certified doctor with experience in treating sleep apnea and to follow their recommended treatment plan. With proper treatment, most people with sleep apnea are able to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
CBT-I: A Long-Term Sleep Fix
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is a natural, side-effect-free sleep treatment. It involves relearning your sleep habits and addressing issues that are getting in the way of quality sleep. Studies show that CBT-I works as well as or better than sleep medications and that its effects last after the treatment is done.1
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Software Engineer & Sleep Enthusiast