Sleep Apnea

How Do You Get Tested for Sleep Apnea?

If you snore loudly, wake up with a dry mouth, and often feel tired after a full night’s rest, you might suspect that a disorder called sleep apnea is to blame. However, you’ll need to complete a sleep study to know for sure.

At-home sleep study for sleep apnea

Adler Advanced Dentistry has all the tools you need to monitor your sleep from the comfort of your own home. Learn more about the steps involved in diagnosing sleep apnea below.

Your Sleep Apnea Consultation and Evaluation

Our dentist Dr. Michael Adler will begin the process of testing for sleep apnea during your initial consultation. He will ask questions to evaluate symptoms such as daytime sleepiness as well as risk factors for the disorder like obesity, age, and family history.

If he suspects that you may have sleep apnea, Dr. Adler will recommend an at-home sleep monitoring test.

Completing an At-Home Sleep Study for Sleep Apnea

To complete the at-home sleep study, you will be given a wireless physiological recorder called the Medibyte Jr. to secure around your chest before you go to bed. It will automatically turn on at the pre-programmed time, so you don’t need to worry about setting it up. While you sleep, the device will measure your:

  • Blood oxygen saturation
  • Pulse rate
  • Airflow
  • Respiratory effort
  • Snoring levels
  • Body movement
  • Body position

Getting Your Sleep Study Results

When you’re done with the study, you’ll need to drop the recorder off at our office. We will then transfer your data to a team of sleep specialists. These specialists will use the information from your at-home study to see if you have sleep apnea and determine the severity of your sleep disorder.

If you receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, our team will gladly walk you through the non-invasive treatment options that can improve your signs and symptoms. For some people, lifestyle changes are enough, especially when it comes to addressing milder cases.

Others may need to wear a custom-made oral appliance called the MicrO2 Sleep and Snore Device. It is a comfortable alternative to cumbersome CPAP machines.

Schedule a Consultation in Boulder Today

If you think that you may have sleep apnea, please call 303-449-1119 to schedule a consultation at Adler Advanced Dentistry. We have helped many patients diagnose and treat their sleep disorders. We proudly serve Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, and nearby Colorado communities.

Common Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

sleep apnea risk factors boulder colorado dentist Getting quality sleep each night is one of the most important things in life. While we rest our bodies and brain recharge so that we have the proper energy levels and mental acuity for the day ahead. Yet many Americans don’t get the proper amount of sleep they need. In fact, according to the CDC, one in three Americans doesn’t get enough sleep on a daily basis.

For many, it’s a matter of not sleeping enough, but for others, a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects the quality of their sleep. If you suffer from this condition, you may not be getting quality, restful sleep even if you sleep for seven hours or more. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the airways become restricted or blocked during sleep, prompting your body to gasp for air, sometimes up to 10 times an hour. When this happens your brain sends signals to your body to momentarily wake to take in air.

As you can imagine, the quality of your sleep is severely affected by OSA. This disruptive sleep can cause a host of serious health issues over time if left untreated. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression are a few of the conditions that can result from OSA. One of the most recognizable symptoms of OSA is loud, chronic snoring accompanied by gasps of breath during sleep.

If you notice this symptom in a loved one or you often feel fatigued and experience uncharacteristic irritability after a full night’s sleep, OSA may be the cause. However, there are clear risk factors that can lead to OSA and recognizing these risk factors before symptoms arise can help you diagnose or even prevent OSA from developing. These include factors that can and cannot be changed.

Risk factors for OSA that cannot be changed include:

  • Age: OSA most frequently occurs in people 30 or older
  • Gender: Most common in men
  • Genetics: If your family has a history of sleep apnea
  • Ethnicity: It’s been shown that Hispanics and Pacific Islanders have the greatest risk for OSA. African-Americans often get sleep apnea younger
  • Deformities of spine: Conditions such as scoliosis may interfere with breathing
  • Head and face abnormalities: Conditions such as Marfan’s Syndrome and Down Syndrome may increase a person’s risk
  • Menopause: Sleep apnea tends to occur more in women who have been through menopause

While you may not be able to change those factors, understanding what can lead to a greater risk for OSA can keep you aware of the warning signs so that you can get diagnosis and treatment early.

There are also many other risk factors that contribute to OSA that can be changed to lessen your chances of developing sleep apnea. These include:

  • Obesity: This is one of the major factors that is likely to cause sleep apnea
  • Neck circumference: Extra tissue around the neck may add risk. Losing weight may help this issue
  • Enlarged nose, mouth, throat tissue: Enlarged tissue in these areas may block airways while you’re sleeping. Surgery may help correct any blockages
  • Bone deformities: Deformities in the nose, mouth, jaw, or throat may interfere with breathing. Surgery may help correct these deformities
  • Alcohol or medicine: Drinking alcohol or taking certain medicines (sleeping pills, sedatives) at night may increase your risk
  • Smoking: Nicotine relaxes muscles which may block airways

At Adler Advanced Dentistry in Boulder, Dr. Michael Adler has training and experience helping patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Through a holistic approach, he uses advanced oral appliances to help you combat this condition so that you can again get the restful sleep you need for a healthy life.

If you believe that you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, please contact us today at to schedule a consultation. We proudly provide services to those who live in and near Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins, Colorado.

Infographic: Sleep Apnea

Boulder Dentist Serving Denver, Ft. Collins & Nearby Areas in Colorado

There are many sleep disorders but one of the most dangerous, and one that is often undiagnosed, is sleep apnea. This condition causes your airways to close or tighten as you sleep, obstructing airflow which causes your body to struggle to breathe while you sleep. Many people associate sleep apnea with loud, chronic snoring but there are many other symptoms that result from this condition as well.

At Adler Advanced Dentistry, we value your health and sleep and hope to educate those who may have the condition so that they can get the help they need as sleep apnea can cause serious, life-threatening health issues if left untreated. Please view our infographic below to learn a little about sleep apnea.

If you believe that you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, call us today at to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve the areas of Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins, Colorado.

sleep apnea infographic boulder denver colorado dentist

Medibyte Jr Instructional Video

Boulder Dentist Serving Denver, Ft. Collins & Nearby Areas in Colorado

Hi Guys!

Recently, we decided to record a video on how to hook up the Medibyte Jr for an at home sleep study. This video is MUCH easier to understand than the handout we send home. Check it out below!

 

Have a great day!

Carly

The Oxygen Advantage – Buteyko beathing method

 Karen Adler, Dr. Patrick McKeown, Dr. Michael Adler, LVI 

Dr. Adler and I attended Patrick McKeown’s 3-day workshop “The Oxygen Advantage” at LVI on Feb. 3-5, 2016.

I decided to take the course with my husband for a variety of reasons: to have a mini vacation as my children’s personal taxi driver, to spend some time together for our 15th wedding anniversary, and the course seemed like something I’d enjoy personally. As a new part-time member of his team, I was also hoping to find something meaningful to contribute to his dental practice.

As it turned out, Patrick’s course was right up my alley. I don’t have a dental background, but an education in journalism, art, and cultural anthropology. I worked 20 years as a flight attendant, and bellydance and practice yoga for exercise.

Well, Patrick’s background isn’t medical either, but in economics. His strength is that he sees the world from an interdisciplinary perspective. He’s not afraid to embrace scientific research from different disciplines, and he’s brilliant at combining research to make sense of real life issues.

What Patrick teaches is a breathing method called Buteyko – a type of light or shallow breathing through your nose. It is counter intuitive to everything I’ve ever learned about breathing – which is deep breathing for yoga, for relaxation, for childbirth. I read his book “The Oxygen Advantage” before the course, but I still found it unbelievable that he was teaching a breathing method polar opposite to deep breathing.

As the course went on, we learned a series of breathing exercises specifically to breathe less. Breathing less, he says, is key to relieving symptoms for, and even resolving, a wide range of “over-breathing” problems, such as: asthma, ADHD, Rhinitis/Hayfever, anxiety, panic attacks, dental health, stress, snoring, and sleep apnea. Other benefits, he says, include better concentration, greater energy, better sleep, and even a competitive advantage in sports. OK, I thought,“if this is true, who wouldn’t benefit from this!”

After this course, there’s so much I’d like to share about what I learned about the Buteyko breathing method. Intuitively, I know there’s truth to it. I also see value in teaching the breathing exercises to our guests at the dental practice, especially those we are helping with sleep apnea and snoring.

But, first things first. Before I can genuinely help others, I need to help myself. Like Patrick, I’ve been a habitual mouth breather my entire life. I had enlarged tonsils and adenoids as a child, and even after they were removed, I learned and continued to breathe through my mouth. My daughter, who recently had her tonsils and adenoids removed, also often breathes out of her mouth. (I’m leaving the blog on the physiology of nasal breathing to Dr. Adler or you can read about it online at buteykoclinic.com). The key is by managing your nitric oxide and carbon dioxide levels, you are able to open up your airway and blood vessels, and get more oxygen into your blood.

On Superbowl Sunday (Yay Broncos!) I started doing some of the breathing exercises and consciously started breathing through my nose (which means you have to shut your mouth which can be strange for someone who likes to talk.). You are supposed to do the exercises for an hour a day – the beautiful thing is you can break it up into 10 or 20-minute segments, and you can do some of them when you’re driving, watching TV, or sitting at the computer. Other breathing exercises you can simply incorporate into your normal physical exercise. If you don’t exercise, you can always walk your dog for 20 minutes and apply the techniques.

The way I started was to sit for 10 minutes upon waking with one hand on my chest and one hand on my stomach, and breathe slowly in taking in a lesser breath than normal, letting a slow breath out, pausing slightly in between breaths. After only a few breaths, you start to create a feeling of air shortage. As you continue, you release the thoughts in your head – just following your cool breath in, warm breath out. Can’t hurt, right?

Then, I decided to walk everyday for 20 minutes, while creating a shortage of air. You can do this by breathing through one nostril, or pinching your nose for 10 steps to start (adding 5 steps each time) and normalizing your breathing in between. None of this should be painful, in fact, I’m finding it to be quite enjoyable. Just the mere activity of following your breath and getting inside your body is a welcome change to my everyday life.

Another exercise is to listen to a relaxation tape (you can download) for about 20 minutes, preferably before bed, while breathing shorter and slower breaths than normal. We did this each day after lunch, and I felt a definite calming down into my body and out of my head. The tape, Patrick told us, helps to take your nervous system out of sympathetic (fight or flight) to the para-sympathetc state.

So, after only a few days, I’m finding myself consciously breathing slowly through my nose off and on all day long. Last night, I decided to use the breathing techniques at my belly dancing class. Interestingly, my dance was suddenly more fluid and I was more out of my head and into my body than I’ve ever been. However, I also noticed after class that my body felt “rubbery” and a little shaky.

The last thing to do as a habitual mouth breather is to learn how to breathe through your nose at night. The way to do that is to simply tape your mouth with paper tape. I had been putting that off because the thought of it was almost repulsive. But, I did it last night for the first time. And, I have to say, I slept for the entire night for the first time in a long time. I didn’t wake up to use the bathroom. I even had a few pleasant dreams, which I have also not had in a while.

Again, today my body feels “rubbery.” I need to find out what that’s all about physiologically. (Patrick asked if anybody felt rubbery after some of the exercises, and a few people said they did)

I’m definitely going into this with an open mind and see where it goes. I hope you take the time to check out the links in this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts – [email protected]

I’ll keep you posted!

Karen

   Dr. Michael and Karen Adler, Echo & Rig, Las Vegas, celebrating 15-year Anniversary

The Micro II for Sleep Apnea

We’re commonly told that we need at least 8 hours of sleep every night for general health and wellness. However, our sleep needs go much deeper than that. Insufficient sleep can cause numerous diseases, and even early mortality. Dr. Adler and I attended a continuing education course about sleep disorders recently, and what we learned was eye opening!

We have found that many people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and are completely unaware of it. Obstructive sleep apnea refers to a frequent collapse of the airway during sleep, which lasts for over ten seconds.  Approximately 1 in 5 adults have at least mild OSA. Snoring is the most obvious symptom, but it isn’t the only one. Fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, gradual weight gain, hypertension, and diabetes can all be symptoms of sleep apnea.

A collapse in the airway forces the brain to send an alarm to your body –WAKE UP!! Thus, your body wakes up, you start breathing again, and most of the time, you’re completely unaware it’s happening. This could happen multiple times each hour, resulting in tens or even hundreds episodes every night.

Basically, sleep apnea stops your brain from hitting the deepest and most restorative sleep level. So, even though you think you’re getting a full night’s sleep, the constant alarm trigger to your brain is preventing it. This means that even though you’re turning in with the intention of getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep, your actually sleeping much less.

Traditionally, for sleep apnea, a physician prescribes a CPAP (constant positive airway pressure) machine. This machine utilizes a mask strapped to your face to force air pressure through your airway. It can be extremely helpful; however, there are some cons! It can be very loud and disturb your partner’s rest. It can be uncomfortable and cause sores on the face. Furthermore, it’s difficult to travel with due to size and volume.

Adler Advanced Dentistry uses a different approach to treat sleep apnea and snoring. We use a dental appliance called the Micro II. The Micro II is small and easy to wear.  It works by bringing your jaw forward which opens up your airway. There’s no noise and it’s very comfortable. Many of our guests have experienced a significant reduction in snoring and sleep apnea, and an increase in the quality of their sleep.

 

If you’re suffering from disrupted sleep, due to snoring, excessive waking up, or sleep apnea, give us a call and see how we can help.

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