Frequently Asked Questions
Quality sleep gives you QUALITY OF LIFE
At True Sleep, we offer Oral Appliance Therapy, an insurance-covered, mask- and tube-free CPAP alternative that works for nearly all people suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea.
One reason Sleep Apnea often goes untreated is misunderstanding the process, the risks, and how easy it can be to treat this dangerous condition.
It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.
How do Oral Appliances Work?
Oral device therapy is the primary alternative to CPAP therapy to treat Sleep Apnea. An oral device is an incredible advancement in sleep technology and is as effective, more comfortable and preferred over CPAP for many patients. An oral appliance will reposition the patient’s jaw and tongue while they sleep, allowing their airway to remain open- therefore allowing the patient to breathe. True Sleep offers a variety of different oral appliances that fit much like a mouthguard and are comfortable to wear, quick to clean, never noisy and effortlessly portable. Dr. Morris will custom fabricate the ideal oral appliance specific to the patient’s needs, indications and issues the patient is facing with their sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder and is divided into two main types: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Both occur when breathing repeatedly stops and then starts again while a patient is sleeping. These are called apneic events because the patient’s breathing completely stops or airflow is reduced greatly for a period of time while sleeping. When the airflow stops, this causes the oxygen levels to drop and triggers the brain to “wake” up and take a breath. These events can occur twenty, thirty, sometimes forty or even more during just ONE HOUR of sleep. That means that these events can occur hundreds of times during ONE NIGHT of sleep. Having these events while you “sleep” means that you don’t truly get quality, normal sleep.
What are the symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Snoring is often one of the early signs of Sleep Apnea. There are a lot of other common symptoms including:
- fatigue & daytime sleepiness
- gasping in the middle of the night
- waking up with a dry mouth
- waking up still tired after full night’s rest
- having a hard time staying asleep
- acid reflux
- low sex drive
- having to get up to use the restroom in the middle of the night
- morning headaches
- easily irritable
- cognitive impairment, having a hard time focusing
- memory issues and dementia
- overweight and having a hard time losing weight
I feel like I sleep like a rock, but I do have some of these symptoms, could I still have Sleep Apnea?
Many of our patients have assured us they don’t have any problems with their sleep and were apprehensive of the possibility of even having sleep apnea- but ended up testing and being diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. Many of these patients are truly exhausted and are able to fall asleep immediately and feel like they are “sleeping like a rock” because they are past exhaustion and their bodies are desperate for as much sleep as possible. For most, sleep apnea is a slow progression and so the effects aren’t felt immediately, but accumulated and worsen over time. Additionally, any patients with undiagnosed sleep apnea have compensated for so long, they have gotten used to their “normal” and don’t realize how much better they can feel.
We have worked with several patients who have shared sentiments similar to “I had no idea what good sleep felt like!” or “I had no idea how good I could feel!” The first step is to get tested and find out if this could be you. Find out if you have sleep apnea today!
I might just have mild sleep apnea, do I still need to get treated?
Sleep Apnea is a serious and progressive disease which can lead to some devastating consequences. Sleep Apnea puts massive stress on your heart and increases your risk for many comorbidities including hypertension, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias and even sudden death. It also puts you at high risk for stroke, type II diabetes, obesity, sexual dysfunction, nocturia, GERD and many mood disturbances including anxiety, depression, PTSD and irritability. True Sleep is on a mission to help patients identify and treat it early to prevent future consequences that can be disastrous. Find out if you have sleep apnea today!
Do you accept insurance? If so, will mine cover it?
Sleep apnea is a medical condition and oral appliances are billed under your medical insurance. Our office bills all medical insurances, (including Medicare, TriCare, Aetna, Humana, etc.) and we directly bill all patient claims. Coverage varies greatly depending on each individual’s plan, including deductible and co-insurance amounts. True Sleep offers many financial options to our patients because we are committed to patients getting the treatment they deserve.
Why do I snore?
Unless a patient is suffering from sinus or nasal congestion, snoring is a symptom of an airway being obstructed. When the soft palate and tissues in the back of the throat collapse, the throat can vibrate as air passes through this area. Common causes are large tonsils, sleeping position, alcohol consumption, excess weight around the neck, or sleeping pills and muscle relaxers.Snoring can also be a sign of sleep disorders, UARS (Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome) and OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea). This means your airway is blocked in some capacity and turbulent airflow causes the vibrations and noise that you hear as you snore.
I'm overweight. Can an Oral Appliance still work for me?
Appliance Therapy can treat mild and moderate sleep apnea patients effectively regardless of a patient’s weight. While weight is a factor that contributes to and can worsen sleep apnea, it isn’t the only factor to determine the presence of sleep apnea. Certainly, losing weight can reduce the severity of your sleep apnea, and can be discussed as adjunct therapy. Many patients who suffer from Sleep Apnea do have a hard time losing weight. This is because of the hormonal changes that take place in a patient with sleep apnea. Because these hormonal imbalances persist in a patient with untreated sleep apnea, losing weight can seem impossible. This becomes a vicious cycle that is hard to break in patients with untreated sleep apnea. This is another major reason for getting treated right away to help stop this vicious cycle from perpetuating and preventing you from losing weight. Get tested today!
How is sleep apnea treated?
Your sleep physician will discuss your individual diagnosis with you regarding your type and severity of sleep apnea. They will recommend different options which may include CPAP therapy, Oral Appliance Therapy, or surgery. There are several adjunct therapies including weight loss, positional therapy, dietary changes, nasal cones/strips, mouth taping, eye masks and good sleep hygiene.
What is the difference between Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is more common than Central and occurs when there is an actual obstruction of the airflow that interrupts the natural breathing cycle while a patient is sleeping.
Central Sleep Apnea is much less common and can be more serious. It occurs as a result of a signaling issue from the brain to the muscles that control breathing.
What kind of surgery can treat Sleep Apnea?
There are various surgeries performed by ENT (otolaryngologist) physicians or Oral Surgeons that can treat Sleep Apnea. There can be structural issues a patient has that can also compromise the airway including enlarged tonsils, a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, retruded lower jaw, etc. These treatments are recommended only when structural issues cause severe physical obstructions of the airway.
What is CPAP therapy?
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. A CPAP machine is connected to a mask that the patient wears while they sleep and provides air flow to the patient. This pushes the obstructions of the patient’s airway open with the flow of air, allowing the patient to breathe while they sleep. However, some patients are not tolerant of the CPAP due to discomfort it can cause while they sleep. True Sleep offers an alternative to these patients who are CPAP-intolerant with Oral Appliances. Other advantages of this alternative when compared to CPAP Therapy are that Oral Appliances are comfortable to wear, quick to clean, never noisy and effortlessly portable.
I wish I would have found True Sleep sooner. I hated my CPAP and wasn’t using it regularly. I now sleep with my appliance every night and feel great.