Can a Sleep Study be Performed With an Oral Appliance?

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What Is An Oral Appliance?

An oral appliance is a small device that is used during sleep to improve symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. It helps to keep your tongue in place while you sleep so that the airway will not be blocked during the night. This is done by pushing or pulling the lower jaw forward.

What Is An Oral Appliance Used For?

An oral appliance is one treatment option for sufferers of two common sleep ailments:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when some portion of the airway is blocked by soft tissue as you sleep. This obstruction only takes place in the evening when the body relaxes and the position of soft tissue changes. OSA can be caused by the tongue, mouth, or by other tissues in the throat.

Snoring

Snoring is the unpleasant sound caused by the vibration of air across the soft tissues during sleep. On its own, snoring is not typically a health problem. However, severe snoring can be disturbing and may even wake you at night. Frequent snoring can be indicative of a more serious problem.

What Is The Process of Using an Oral Appliance in a Sleep Study?

An oral appliance is typically used in a second sleep study to determine whether it makes a significant difference in symptoms observed in a previous study. That is, it trials the treatment to see if it works. This test can be performed in either of two ways:

At-Home Sleep Study

An at-home sleep study allows you to get the information you need about your condition from the comfort of your own home. This involves the use of a specialized piece of equipment you will wear during the evening when you are ready to go to sleep. You also insert your customized oral appliance at the same time. Overnight, the equipment collects the required data. It may take a few days for your physician to interpret the data collected by an at-home device.

In-Person Sleep Study

An in-person sleep study takes place at a dedicated sleep lab under the supervision of trained sleep technicians. Similar equipment is used, but it can collect a broader variety of information and get even more accurate readings. You simply bring your oral appliance and wear it as you sleep – you’ll typically receive your sleep study results the very next morning.

Who Makes a Good Candidate for This Sleep Study?

An oral appliance can be effective for anyone who has mild or moderate sleep apnea. Thanks to the appliance, it may not be necessary for you to undergo more intensive forms of treatment, such as the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or surgery to correct obstructions.

Anyone, of any age or background, can experience snoring or obstructive sleep apnea. There are no specific health restrictions on performing a sleep study, but you should inform your doctor about any health conditions or current medications before you start.

A sleep study with an oral appliance is typically undertaken as a follow-up after an obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis is made. If you’ve recently been diagnosed, it is a good idea to ask your doctor whether a new study to trial treatment options may be helpful.

The Benefits of This Study

This study will provide you with detailed and accurate information about whether or not your oral appliance is effective in controlling your symptoms. When people find a treatment method that works for them, obstructive sleep apnea symptoms can often be controlled completely.

To find out more about sleep disorders and their treatment, contact Eos Sleep Diagnostics.

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