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Sleep Apnea/Snoring Treatment – Belmont, MA

Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

For more than a decade, two simple questionnaires—the Berlin Questionnaire and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale—have been helping patients identify risk factors and chronic behaviors common to sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. If you’re worried that you might have sleep apnea, you can use the following tests to help you determine if a visit with your doctor is necessary. With each test, your score will tell you whether your risk for sleep apnea is higher or lower. Contact us for sleep apnea and snoring treatment in Belmont, MA.

Why Choose EyeSmile Optometry & Dental Care
of Belmont for Sleep Apnea/Snoring Treatment?

The Berlin Questionnaire

Woman covered in wires during sleep test

This 10-question test was first developed in 1996 at the Conference on Sleep in Primary Care in Berlin, Germany. Since then, it has become a trusted tool, with a 1999 study concluding that it was more effective than almost any other evaluative method being used at the time. Even today, it is one of the most effective tools in detecting and diagnosing sleep apnea that the medical community has. To learn more about the effectiveness of the Berlin Questionnaire, you can read the official study at the Annals of Internal Medicine website.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale

Woman sleeping soundly in bed

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale was developed in 1990 by Murray W. Johns of Epworth Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Using just eight questions, it was designed to test a patient’s likelihood of falling asleep during a range of daily activities. Daytime drowsiness is a common symptom of all sleep disorders, so by determining how sleepy you are during the day, you can decide if it’s time to schedule a consultation with your doctor based on your score.

How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations, in contrast to feeling just tired? This refers to your usual way of life in recent times. Even if you have not done some of these things recently, try to work out how they would have affected you. Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:

0 - No chance of falling asleep
1 - Slight chance of falling asleep
2 - Moderate chance of falling asleep
3 - High chance of falling asleep

  • Sitting and reading
  • Watching TV
  • Sitting inactive in a public place (e.g. a theater or a meeting)
  • As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break
  • Lying down to rest in the afternoon as circumstances permit
  • Sitting and talking to someone
  • Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol
  • In a car while stopped for a few minutes in traffic

Epworth Scoring Results

Results of sleep study with sleep apnea checked

1 - 6 = Good. You're likely getting restful sleep.
7 - 9 = Okay. Your sleep could be improved, but you may not have sleep apnea.
10 or higher = Bad. You likely have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea.

Now that you’ve had a chance to take both tests, do your scores indicate that you’re at risk for sleep apnea or another sleep disorder? If they do, schedule an appointment with your doctor now. Not only are you missing out on a great night of sleep, you could also be putting your and your partner’s health in danger. Call EyeSmile Optometry & Dental Care of Belmont if you’re ready to talk to a doctor about your symptoms. Dr. Salibian would be happy to answer all of your questions about diagnosing and treating sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.

While snoring can be irritating, both for the snorer and other members of the household, it can also signify a more serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Salibian offers custom nightguards and snore guards to eliminate snoring and sleep apnea, so you and your family can enjoy resting well every night.

The Sound Sleep Solution

Man waking feeling rested

EyeSmile Optometry & Dental Care of Belmont can now treat non-compliant CPAP patients with oral appliance therapy (OAT).

A night guard repositions the lower jaw slightly forward to eliminate slack in the soft tissues of the mouth. This simple appliance has helped thousands of people overcome snoring and sleep apnea. Even CPAP intolerant patients may find relief with a nightguard.

If you’re ready to get some sound sleep, talk with Dr. Salibian about a custom nightguard next time you visit our Belmont office.

Sleep Apnea FAQs

Man in grey shirt sleeping in bed with sleep apnea in Belmont, MA

Sleep apnea must be dealt with promptly and properly if you want to avoid the long-term consequences of poor-quality slumber. We encourage you to learn as much as you can about sleep apnea so that you can figure out the best way to treat it. You can get started right now by reading the FAQs below. If there’s anything else you want to know about sleep apnea, feel free to contact our practice and ask our team any questions that are on your mind.

How Long are Sleep Apnea Events or Episodes?

A pause in your breathing qualifies as a sleep apnea episode if it lasts for at least 10 seconds. Some pauses last considerably longer – up to 2 minutes in certain cases. A patient can have 5 to 30 sleep apnea episodes during a single hour of slumber. The more episodes you experience, the more severe your sleep disorder is considered to be. Tests can be performed to see how often you’re experiencing sleep apnea episodes in order to determine how advanced your case is and narrow down potential treatment methods.

Will My Sleep Apnea Go Away if I Lose Weight?

Obesity and sleep apnea are often closely related. An excess amount of weight often means a greater chance of the airway becoming blocked by relaxed tissues in the throat. In many cases, losing weight can indeed go a long way toward reducing sleep apnea symptoms. However, this is not guaranteed to put a stop to the disorder entirely; it may still be necessary to use an oral appliance to keep your airway open during the night. In short, losing weight is one of several steps you can potentially take to address your sleep apnea.

Who is Most at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Virtually anyone can potentially suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, but there are certain factors that can increase your risk of developing the disorder, such as:

  • Being Male: Statistics show that men are 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer from sleep apnea compared to women.
  • Age: The older you get, the more likely you are to experience sleep-disordered breathing.
  • Weight: Being overweight is considered one of the primary risk factors for sleep apnea.
  • Anatomy: If you have a thicker neck, you likely also have a narrower airway, which can increase the chances of your breathing being interrupted.

Can I Have Oral Appliance Therapy If I Grind My Teeth?

Some people with sleep apnea also grind their teeth while they’re asleep. On the surface, you may worry that this could potentially be an obstacle to your ability to get an oral appliance. However, this is far from the case. Teeth grinding won’t affect your candidacy for oral appliance therapy. In fact, a well-made oral appliance can stop your upper and lower arches of teeth from making direct contact with each other, thus reducing the damage related to teeth grinding.

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