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Three Important Things to Know About Sleep Apnea

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Sleep apnea can be diagnosed in a few ways: at home, by your doctor, or even by a dentist. With sleep apnea being as prevalent as it is throughout the world, new technology such as home sleep tests are becoming increasingly popular. This way, you can figure it out conveniently within your home before speaking with a doctor about treatment options. Another way to be diagnosed is by speaking with your doctor right away. They may also administer a sleep test which would require you to spend the night in a facility of some kind in order to monitor your sleep. Lastly, some jaw alignments and such leave people predisposed to having sleep apnea. So when you go in for your checkup at the dentist, they may be able to tell you whether or not you're one of those people!

So what types of treatments are there?
There are a ton of treatments out there, and which one you end up with is largely dependent on the severity of your situation and your preference. There are nasal pillows, CPAP machines, BiPAP machines, and different types of sleep apnea masks to choose from. Most often, you will first be told to use a CPAP machine, as they are the most common and trusted method. However, if that doesn't work for you for some reason, fear not -- there are other options to move to from there!

How much do I need to use my machine of choice?
This will again depend on how severe your disorder is, but the most common treatments must be used every night for most of the night. Studies have found that many using CPAP machines end up stopping their use within one to three weeks. This is quite possibly the worst thing you can do. If you try out one method and don't like it, choose another! Don't stop treatments altogether.

Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? What has your experience been like?