Our sleep specialists at Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute can help diagnose and manage various sleep disorders. We offer clinical evaluation for problems related to daytime sleepiness and disturbed sleep. If indicated by the referring physician’s evaluation, polysomnographic testing, commonly known as sleep studies, can be undertaken for sleep-related breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea.
Our sleep studies are conducted in private rooms with television and Tempur-Pedic® beds. The procedure is painless and is monitored by our Center staff. Our staff includes a medical director, a clinical coordinator, a clinical supervisor and sleep technicians.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
The treatment of sleep apnea focuses on returning your breathing patterns to normal while you sleep as well as eliminating snoring and daytime drowsiness. Medical problems associated with sleep apnea like hypertension and diabetes are also treated.
A therapy known as continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP, is often used to treat sleep apnea. The mask-like device delivers a steady stream of oxygen which prevents airway collapse which causes a pause in breathing. The compliant use of the CPAP enhances overall quality of sleep even after one night. Studies have shown that use of the CPAP can improve depression associate with sleep apnea.
Although some patients reportedly stop using the CPAP when their symptoms clear up, it is important to manage the condition and realize that CPAP is not a temporary therapy. It may be needed for ongoing care to reduce symptoms of sleep apnea. Talk with your doctor about other ways to manage your sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy
For mild to moderate OSA, oral appliance therapy is a non-invasive treatment option. With the aid of both a physician and a test trained in OSA treatment, a special dental device is tailor made which can help keep your airway open so you can breathe at night. These mouth guards are similar to those worn by hockey players.
For those who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy, oral appliances are a great alternative because they are easier to use and typically have a higher rate of compliance. These devices can help stop snoring and many patients respond well to treatment.
Two types of oral appliances are used to treat OSA. Tongue-retaining devices keep the tongue from falling to the back of the throat by using a light suction. This keeps helps keep the airway open. The other type of treatment is a mandibular-advancement device which holds the lower jaw in a position to increase airflow.
Your dentist will discuss options with you on which device is appropriate for you. With more than 100 different types of oral appliances available, your dentist will choose the device which is the most comfortable and effective for you. You dentist will make an impression of your teeth and fit the device to your mouth so you can start sleeping better at night.
Medical Procedures for OSA
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is one of the most common surgical interventions performed on OSA patients. This procedure removes the uvula and other soft tissue from the soft palate in the back of the mouth. This procedure is effective if enough tissue is removed. This procedure is more effective on mild to moderate OSA patients who are not obese, whose blockage is ONLY in the high part of the upper airway.
Somnoplasty is a medical treatment used to treat snoring and OSA that heats and shrinks the tissues which cause the problem. The base of the tongue and other structures are targeted in this procedure. The usually outpatient procedure often needs to be repeated to achieve the desired results.
Genioglossus advancement is a surgical procedure which brings the base of the tongue forward in order to increase the size of the airway. The tongue is attached to the lower jaw using a screw affixed to the bone.
Tongue reduction is the surgical removal of a segment of the tongue which will permit more unobstructed breathing.
Other OSA Treatment Options
- Weight loss may be a way to keep you from snoring at night.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before going to sleep, as it relaxes the throat muscles and may create more instances of snoring and apnea.
- Positional therapy is a way to decrease snoring by avoiding lying flat on your back.
Practicing good sleep hygiene is one way to ensure you get the best sleep possible. “Sleep hygiene” is defined by the National Sleep Foundation as a variety of different practices that are necessary to have normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness.
Although narcolepsy has no cure, medications and lifestyle changes may help you control the symptoms.
Medication for Narcolepsy Treatment
- Stimulants - Drugs which stimulate the central nervous system in order to stay awake during the day are the main treatment method for narcolepsy. Although stimulant medications are usually effective, they can produce side effects such as nervous or heart palpitations and can be addictive.
- Antidepressants - These medications can suppress REM sleep and can help control symptoms of narcolepsy.
To learn more about sleep disorders and the various treatment options available in Southern California, call The Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute at 1-855-690-0563.