Since snoring is the main symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder, a medical evaluation is advised to determine whether the person snoring has apnea events in addition to snoring.
Knowing where to start to get help with your snoring dilemmas can be a daunting task.
In the last several years there has been more awareness of the importance of healthy and adequate sleep. Healthcare professionals ranging from physicians, nurse practitioners, and dentists have started discussions with their patients regarding sleep, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders.
However, many healthcare practitioners still pass over thorough evaluations, discussions, and referrals of snoring complaints.
It is best to start off your path to peaceful sleep by discussing your symptoms with your primary care physician. It is common to be then referred to a sleep medicine specialist or directly to a sleep testing facility. A sleep-certified medical practitioners is best versed in a variety of treatments prescribed for sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, one of the most common sleep breathing disorders.
Since sleep disorders intersect many fields of medicine, it is not uncommon to find a variety of healthcare professionals with training in sleep disorders, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. These specialists can include: internists, pulmonologists, cardiologists, psychiatrists, psychologists and otolaryngologists (ENT) with specialized training and certifications in sleep disorders.
It is important to realize that even if these individuals are trained, not all have an equal knowledge nor support of all treatment options including oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy(OAT) is one of the prescribed treatment options for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea patients . Some medical providers may consider OAT as an effective alternative to CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure ) device —the most commonly prescribed treatment for OSA. Others consider oral appliance therapy as a primary choice of treatment for mild to moderate obstructive apnea patients.
Also, dentists that are Diplomates or Qualified through the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) may be a good resource to help you find a medical practitioner knowledgeable in all aspects of snoring and apnea. During their training, dentist members of the AADSM often have built rapport with physicians who closely work with obstructive sleep apnea, snoring and insomnia individuals.
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