Frequently Asked Questions
Are snoring and sleep apnea the same thing?
No. Snoring occurs when air causes noisy vibrations in the nose, throat, or sinuses, and it can have several causes, including nasal injuries, sickness, or sleep apnea. Alternatively, sleep apnea is a health condition that involves pauses in breathing during rest that last for ten or more seconds each. Not every patient who has sleep apnea snores, and not every patient who snores has sleep apnea. However, snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea because of airway blockage.
What are the different types of sleep apnea?
There are two different types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea (CSA) takes place when the brain is not sending out the correct signals for the body to inhale and exhale properly, while obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the patient’s airway is partially or fully blocked during rest because of the tongue or neck tissue. OSA is much more common, although some patients may suffer from a combination of the two types.
How can I get my sleep apnea diagnosed?
The very first step patients need to take when determining whether or not sleep apnea is likely is the completion of our STOP-BANG assessment. This short, simple questionnaire will provide a clear indication of whether or not you’re at risk, and our team will be sure to schedule a complimentary consultation right away if your results skew towards the positive. If our in-person findings are concerning, we will refer you to a nearby sleep testing center for a solid diagnosis. Dr. Claire Haag believes strongly in taking a team approach to sleep apnea care, which is why we work with several of the top physicians from Bryan Health hospital when identifying and treating sleep apnea. Our staff will help you determine which sleep apnea treatment option is right for you (oral appliance therapy, CPAP treatment, or combined therapy), and we’ll also provide guidance and assistance when it comes to maximizing your available insurance benefits
I’ve already been diagnosed with sleep apnea. What now?
Please schedule a complimentary sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Claire! During this important visit, we’ll be able to determine whether or not oral appliance therapy is right for your situation.
Does oral appliance therapy work as well as CPAP treatment?
There are several cases where oral appliance therapy can be just as effective (or even more effective) than CPAP treatment. The main cause for this is that patients are altogether more likely to continue using their oral appliance on a regular basis. Many patients are unable to handle the loud noises and bulky machinery associated with CPAP treatment, causing them to forego use. Alternatively, oral appliances are more comfortable, more convenient, and easier to travel with. Combined therapy with both oral appliance therapy and CPAP treatment is also an option!
Does my insurance cover the cost of sleep apnea treatment?
You actually won’t rely on your dental insurance to cover the cost of oral appliance therapy in most cases – instead, your medical insurance/Medicare offers partial payment for it. Our team will be happy to help maximize the benefits of your current coverage.