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New here and a little shocked that I have sleep apnea. Questions....

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suburbanone +0 points · almost 3 years ago Original Poster

Hi everyone. I have been reading over some of the topics and have a few questions of my own. A little background....I am 47, female, in relatively decent shape (could stand to lose 15lbs). I just found out the other day from my dentist that I have obstructive sleep apnea. I almost dropped the phone when she told me as this came out of let field. What started it all was she sent me home with a machine to use at night to see how much I am grinding. so I can be fitted for a mouth guard. Well, she told me it is so much more severe and that I have apnea. She said I woke up 237 times and I am graded a 41? Not exactly sure what that means but she said it is borderline severe and she wants to put me in a device to hold my tongue in place. The device will cost $2500. yikes!

My questions are this: -I have researched the symptoms and I do not have any of them other than the grinding. I fell fine during the day, not sluggish at all, do not snore, etc -Any chance this sleep device/machine I used gave a false positive? My sleep was horrible the night I wore it and slept very fitfully because it was irritating.

-Can someone have SA without the classic symptoms ad not realize it?

Anything else I should be doing.? Do I need a second opinion? I guess if I exhibited some of the typical signs of SA then I wouldn't be questioning it so much.

I appreciate any help you can offer.

Thanks-

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LabLover +1 point · almost 3 years ago

Did your dentist refer you to a pulmonologist for a sleep study? A dentist can not make the diagnosis and the only way to arrive at one is a sleep study.

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SleepDent +1 point · almost 3 years ago Sleep Commentator

I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. The proper protocol, as per the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, is that dentists are not qualified to make a definitive diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. They may screen for OSA, but if it is suspected, a physician must make the diagnosis. The best type of doctor to consult is a board certified sleep specialist. Typically, they will be pulmonologist/critical care specialists with an extra certification in sleep medicine, but they could have had basic training in another area. They will give you a better laboratory or home sleep test than a dentist is trained to do and will also screen you for about 100 other possible sleep disorders. After they give you the diagnosis, THEN you can consider an oral appliance, CPAP, or other methods of treating your OSA. Arthur B. Luisi, Jr., D.M.D.

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suburbanone +0 points · almost 3 years ago Original Poster

Thank you so much for the reply! She told me she has to send the report (at home sleep report) off to the MD who then generates a report that will issue the prescription for the device. It all sounds very suspect to me but I do trust her and have been her patient for 20 years and consider her a friend.

If another MD signs off on this does this still sound like the incorrect protocol? So both of you are saying I need to see a specialist.....I sort of came to that conclusion as well. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

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SleepDent +1 point · almost 3 years ago Sleep Commentator

Well, it probably meets legal and ethical requirements on some minimal level, but, in my view, you deserve better. You need to sit down with a board certified sleep specialist for a complete initial interview covering your entire medical history and all of your potential sleep problems. Personally, I would not trust a sleep test administered by a dentist for an initial diagnosis, even if it was interpreted by a board certified sleep specialist who never met you. In my experience, the tests administered by regular sleep labs, either in lab or at home are more reliable. I am not implying that your dentist didn't do it right. I am not in the position to judge that. But if you were one of my family members or relatives, I personally would do it the more professional way. However, after you get an official diagnosis, there is no reason not to use your dentist for the appliance if you are convinced that she has had adequate training in dental sleep medicine. Arthur B. Luisi, Jr., D.M.D.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · almost 3 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

After the shuffle this gal got from this dentist, I would definitely not have much confidence in the dentist's opinion on anything. The dentist was pretty much out of line and has about as much credibility as if prescribing orthotics. Folks do have constraints relative to their insurance but I would definitely consider the advice from this dentist inappropriate at best and seek different advice; first with my PCP who perhaps could recommend/refer a good sleep specialist/clinic.

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sleeptech +0 points · almost 3 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

To answer a question in your original post "-Can someone have SA without the classic symptoms ad not realize it?" Yes. Research consistently finds that a small but significant proportion of people with OSA do not display any of the normal symptoms.

Also, there is nothing to lose in having a proper in-lab sleep study to confirm this diagnosis. It can only give you more information to go on.

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suburbanone +0 points · almost 3 years ago Original Poster

Thanks so much for the responses. I will seek out a specialist.

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