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Different types of sleep apnea test: Home vs Hospital

Posted by SomnoSure on May 24, 2016 3:30:00 AM

You probably already know that in order to find out if you have a sleep disorder, you need to take a sleep test. 

A sleep test is actually the umbrella term for a handful of different kinds of tests used to identify and diagnose sleep disorders.

The most common sleep tests (or sleep studies) are given to patients who potentially suffer from sleep-breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

There are two versions of sleep apnea tests: one is done in the convenience and privacy of your own home, and the other is administered at a sleep center where there's a lab on site.

 

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Topics: Home Sleep Test, sleep apnea, sleep study

CPAP and Atrial Fibrillation

Posted by SomnoSure on May 17, 2016 11:30:00 PM

Do you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)? If so, have you ever noticed strange patterns of heartbeats, like butterflies in your chest? 

Or, do you have atrial fibrillation? If so, have you ever noticed how much trouble you have staying asleep at night? Do you need to get up and use the bathroom several times?

OSA, meet AFib. And AFib, meet OSA. It turns out, these two conditions often come hand in hand.

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Topics: cpap

What is Dental Sleep Medicine? Roles & Therapies

Posted by SomnoSure on Feb 4, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Only until recently have people considered the value of working with a dentist to manage their sleep-breathing problems, even though dental sleep medicine has been around for over three decades.

It was first pursued in conjunction with other treatments (namely continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP) for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Because dental technology has advanced in effectiveness and comfort for snoring mouthpieces and oral devices, dentists now find themselves at the forefront of sleep medicine, especially in support of alternatives, like oral appliance therapy (OAT), for patients with OSA who are unhappy with CPAP. 

Despite this, many patients (and even dentists and physicians) still don't recognize the relationship between oral health and sleep-breathing disorders. This recent mainstream emergence of dental sleep medicine stands to change that.

What is dental sleep medicine?

First: it is not sleep dentistry. Sleep dentistry refers to the use of sedation in order to perform dental work.

Dental sleep medicine is a branch of specialty dentistry which focuses on the craniofacial and physiological connection with sleep breathing disorders. Snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS), bruxism, and OSA are chief concerns for dentists, who are poised at chairside to quickly identify risk factors for these specific sleep disorders. 

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Topics: snoring, osa, dental appliance, oral appliance, oral device, snoring mouthpiece, dental sleep medicine

Combination Therapy for OSA: CPAP plus Snoring Mouthpiece

Posted by SomnoSure on Feb 2, 2016 2:00:00 PM

So you tried continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy to treat your recent diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

However, you found the therapy uncomfortable and difficult to adjust to, and even after a three-month trial, you weren't able to use it at the minimum rate.

You may have then switched to a snoring mouthpiece or oral device as part of an attempt to use oral appliance therapy (OAT), but your OSA is too severe for this option to be effective. 

Now what do you do?

Why not try using both... at the same time?

What is Combination Therapy?

Combination Therapy for treating OSA works just like it sounds: it combines the benefits of higher pressures from CPAP for severe OSA with the benefits of oral repositioning that are the signature of OAT.

Who would benefit from Combination Therapy?

Generally speaking, anyone with severe OSA who has struggled to control it can benefit from Combination Therapy. It may not be a first-line approach, but it constitutes an option for those who have tried both alternatives and weren't able to make progress with either of them separately.

The chief benefit of using both therapies in tandem relates to your ability to tolerate the higher pressure sometimes necessary to treat severe OSA. Wearing the mask with a mouthpiece can shift enough of the space of the upper airway enough so that you can effectively reduce your pressure settings. If, by doing this, you find it comfortable enough to go from using your CPAP alone three hours a night to using CPAP with a mouthpiece six or more hours a night, then Combination Therapy could be the perfect solution for your OSA challenges.

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Topics: cpap, snoring, osa, oral appliance, oral device, snoring mouthpiece

CPAP vs Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece: Comparisons and Considerations

Posted by SomnoSure on Jan 27, 2016 2:38:42 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine has agreed that for the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), both continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or oral appliance therapy (OAT) can be prescribed as first-line therapies. In addition, the snoring mouthpiece, while not a first-line therapy for OSA, has become an important option for treating primary snoring when OSA is not also present. So how do these therapies compare against each other? And which might be your best option? We address the CPAP vs Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece issues here.

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Topics: cpap, oral appliance, oral device, sleep apnea mouthpiece, snoring mouthpiece

Dental Sleep Medicine: The Dental Appliance a First-Line Therapy for OSA

Posted by SomnoSure on Jan 14, 2016 1:33:26 PM

Oral appliance therapy (OAT) has become a hopeful therapeutic alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy over the last few years.

Last July, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) officially declared the use of the dental appliance as an appropriate first-line treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) for specific qualifying patients based on comprehensive, long-term evidence showing its efficacy. 

Further, the AASM sealed this position by joining with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) to create new practice guidelines for sleep physicians and board-certified, sleep-trained dentists to better collaborate for patients who qualify for it.

The dental sleep medicine industry has been poised for some time to become a sanctioned element of the patient-physician collaboration for OSA therapies. The AASM's seal of approval is an exciting shift, not only for sleep-trained dentists and sleep specialists, but for patients as well, who often aren't aware of this option for treating OSA. 

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Topics: dental appliance, dental sleep medicine

What is a Sleep Center? (Staffing, Testing, and Treatments)

Posted by SomnoSure on Jan 5, 2016 10:30:00 AM

A sleep center (also often referred to as a sleep clinic or sleep lab) is any kind of centralized healthcare space where patients consult with sleep health professionals in pursuit of solutions for their sleep health problems. The picture above shows the headquarters for SomnoSure, our freestanding sleep center in St. Louis, MO where patients come to get their Home Sleep Testing equipment.

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Topics: Home Sleep Test, Costs/Fees, cpap therapy, sleep study

Different Types of Home Sleep Studies

Posted by SomnoSure on Dec 31, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Home Sleep Studies St LouisYou may have recently read about the home sleep test (HST) option as well as who may qualify to undergo an HST for the purposes of diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). You may have even undergone an Home Sleep Study recently. Did you know there are different types of Home Sleep Studies? Here's a quick overview so you can understand what they are and why there are different types.

A little background

Much of the distinction between sleep studies is not just a matter of patient qualifications, but also important for billing clarification and medical necessity. This is no small matter; in-lab sleep tests are expensive. But even in-home sleep tests can be unaffordable if insurance doesn't cover them.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has strict guidelines for which kinds of tests they will reimburse. They set these guidelines to keep medical costs down for their patient population and to prevent unnecessary medical testing in general, which costs the federal government millions of dollars annually. 

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Topics: sleep study, osa, hst

For Sleep Centers: The benefits of outsourcing sleep study scoring

Posted by SomnoSure on Dec 28, 2015 9:00:00 PM

Changes in sleep medicine and technology continue to be rapid and progressive as we enter 2016. Sleep telemedicine is an exciting new trailblazer, but it's not the only space in sleep-related healthcare where technology can help specialists to serve more patients and achieve better outcomes.

Those sleep center professionals who have embraced 21st century technologies are setting newer—and some might say higher—standards for patient diagnostics by contracting with sleep scoring services to more efficiently manage the data collection of a burgeoning population of patients with sleep disorders

Sleep Study Scoring: From past to present to future

For decades, the scoring of sleep studies has been traditionally done in-house by technologists (the earliest of these hand-scored them with ink on paper).

Programs are now entirely digital and include the convenience of autoscoring features, but these are of somewhat limited use given the complexity of health issues among today's patients.

Many of today's technologists still score "on the fly" (during the study) or after the study is completed (first thing in the morning), or these studies are handed to a separate day tech to score. For patients with simple sleep disorders and little to no comorbidities, this process can be effective. But is it efficient?

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Topics: sleep study

What is a Home Sleep Study?

Posted by SomnoSure on Dec 16, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Overnight sleep studies are typically thought of as taking place in a hospital or sleep clinic laboratory setting.

However, a few years ago, new technologies made it possible for sleep studies to be take place in patients' homes.

The home sleep study, also known as a home sleep test (HST)has since become a quintessential part of the diagnostic process for identifying one prevalent sleep disorder: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). 

About 75 percent of patients who have been referred to a lab-based sleep study with suspected OSA wind up being appropriate candidates for an HST. 

While the HST is not a substitute for the classic overnight attended lab test—it cannot diagnose the majority of sleep disordersit is now recognized as a good tool to use for people suspected of having OSA but who are otherwise considered healthy.

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Topics: Home Sleep Test, sleep study

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