Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions, yet many may not be aware they have it. If you suspect that you are not getting as much sleep as you think you should be, come to our practice to discuss sleep apnea. Once your concern is brought to Dr. Woodruff’s attention, diagnosing sleep apnea is a straightforward process.
Step One: Screening Process
Patients who experience sleep apnea are often unable to remember the primary indication of the condition: waking up periodically throughout the night. The warning signs they are aware of—daytime fatigue, irritability, and inability to focus—can also be caused by other health concerns or particular lifestyle factors. As a result, sleep apnea cannot be fully diagnosed without a careful evaluation of the specific symptoms experienced.
In order to ensure that you receive the most appropriate care for your specific health needs, Dr. Woodruff provides a screening questionnaire to you. This process helps narrow down the specific symptoms you are experiencing for a more accurate diagnosis. Depending on the answers, Dr. Woodruff can determine how likely it is that you have apnea and what other potential causes for your symptoms are also likely.
Step Two: The Sleep Center
By analyzing your questionnaire, Dr. Woodruff will have a better understanding of your sleep apnea case. Before moving onto treatment, however, a diagnosis by a sleep physician is required.
After you have taken your questionnaire and Dr. Woodruff has looked over it to eliminate other possible sources for your symptoms, our practice will refer you to a sleep center. We partner with a sleep center at a local hospital, whom we trust to provide accurate and patient-focused care. The sleep center will have access to the information you provided through the questionnaire, and they then conduct a sleep study for more information. Once your case has been analyzed by the center, you will receive either a diagnosis of the specific apnea case you have or confirmation that sleep apnea is not the cause of your symptoms.
Step Three: Determining Appropriate Treatment
Sleep apnea comes in varying levels of seriousness and in different forms: physical obstruction of the airway, failure to send signals from the brain to the lungs, and a combination of the two. If you have sleep apnea, your time at the sleep center will let you know which type you have and its severity.
Our practice is able to provide sleep apnea appliances to patients who experience mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Woodruff will outfit you with the appliance after taking impressions to ensure a customized, comfortable fit. These custom-created devices reposition the jaw while you sleep, preventing the pauses in breathing that define sleep apnea.
Contact Us for Sleep Apnea Treatment
Dr. S. Clarke Woodruff provides sleep apnea treatments in Hellertown, Bethlehem, Allentown, and the surrounding communities. For more information, call our practice and schedule a sleep apnea consultation today!