As an ENT facility specializing in all aspects of ear, nose, and throat care, we are often asked a variety of sleep apnea questions.
We're actually quite happy about that!
Sleep apnea used to be something that most people never thought of -- it was either overlooked or patients were unaware of the warning signs. They simply assumed they were getting bad sleep or were putting in too many hours at the office -- but that's not always the case.
Sometimes, it's a little more complicated than that.
But thanks to the myriad commercials on television, sleep apnea is very much in people's view -- which means that they're more likely to seek professional help if they are experiencing potential sleep apnea symptoms.
As a premier sleep apnea doctor in Royal Oak Michigan, we're committed to delivering the best possible care for patients in the Royal Oak and Detroit areas -- so more patients asking more questions is always a welcome scenario for us.
That's why we want to discuss the top sleep apnea questions that you should ask your doctor if you think you might be suffering from this obstructive sleep condition.
Questions to Ask During a Sleep Apnea Consultation
We're going to be honest with you -- there are so many questions one could ask about sleep apnea, that we can't put them all in one blog post. In fact, over the course of your visit, consultation, testing, and treatment, you'll probably ask more questions than you were expecting.
Don't worry -- The Rontal Clinic has answers!
To ensure our patients are prepared for their visit -- and to ensure you're asking the right questions -- we're going to go over five of the most common questions we get asked by sleep apnea patients. These questions are absolutely vital from the start, so we want to make sure you know what those questions are and understand why they're so important.
With that said, let's take a look at our top-five:
1. Are you a certified sleep doctor?
Sleep apnea is best diagnosed and treated by a certified sleep doctor such as an ENT that specializes in this disorder. A primary care physician can order tests for sleep apnea, but that's where their ability to help ends.
Of course, that's where we step in.
A certified sleep doctor can order tests, evaluate those tests, rule out other possible conditions that could be causing symptoms, and finally set a course of treatment right for their individual patients.
2. Should I undergo a sleep study?
If your doctor believes that you have sleep apnea, the answer to this question will almost certainly be "yes".
A sleep study will give the doctor all the information they need about your body -- more specifically, what your body does and how it functions while you sleep. The study uses sensors that monitor everything from respiration to restlessness, heart rate, deep and light sleep, and even how many times you may wake up during the night.
The combined information gleaned from a sleep study paints a picture of what your body does throughout the night and helps determine the best course of treatment for your sleep apnea.
3. Why do I have sleep apnea?
This is one of the most important sleep apnea questions you can ask your doctor because some of the causes of sleep apnea can be addressed yourself to help limit your symptoms.
After a thorough physical exam, health history, and sleep study, your sleep doctor should have an excellent picture of your sleep apnea and what is most likely causing it or contributing to its severity.
While some causes such as your head and neck anatomy obviously can't be changed, other things such as excess weight or smoking can be addressed by the patient.
4. What kind of sleep apnea do I have?
There are three types of sleep apnea, and each one requires a different approach. Here's a closer look at each one:
Obstructive sleep apnea. Also known as OSA, this type is caused by a lack of airflow due to a blocked or clogged windpipe.
Central sleep apnea. Also known as CSA, this type is caused by abnormalities in breathing caused by poor signals from the brain.
Complex sleep apnea. Also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, this type occurs when an OSA patient develops CSA during treatment.
Once the doctor knows the sleep apnea type you have, he or she can talk to you about what might be causing it, how to treat it, and if there is anything you can do to help mitigate the symptoms.
5. Can you explain the results of my sleep study report?
Your doctor should offer this immediately, but if for some reason they don't, it's an important question to ask.
Your sleep study summary will have an AHI (apnea-hypopnea index), that is relevant to the severity of your sleep apnea. You'll also find information regarding oxygen levels, limb movements, wakefulness, and other important details.
It's important that your doctor explains those to you as well as provide you with a copy of your sleep study.
Remember These 5 Sleep Apnea Questions
As a top sleep apnea doctor in the Detroit, MI and Royal Oak, MI areas, we're committed to helping people in our neighborhoods get the restful, rejuvenating sleep that they need for better health and a better life.
Together, we can help you get the restorative sleep you've been dreaming of.
We welcome all of your sleep apnea questions, and we're here to help answer those questions and find the right treatment option for you.
Schedule an appointment with The Rontal Clinic today by calling our Royal Oak office at (248) 737-4030 -- and start your journey towards better sleep!