If you’re concerned about a potential sleep apnea diagnosis or about what to do about your sleep apnea, we’ve compiled six questions you should be asking your healthcare professional about your case. While the typical sleep apnea treatment plan includes the typical lifestyle changes such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bed, and adhering to a regular sleep schedule, experiences with treatment often vary case-by-case.
Are You a Certified Sleep Doctor?
General care physicians may not have advanced experience in treating sleep apnea. While they can refer you to a sleep specialist, it’s important that you understand the specific expertise of your doctor. Specialists will also be more informed on the latest research and treatment plans available for your specific case.
2. What Is Your Treatment Plan?
Due to the severity of obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP is often considered the first option in sleep apnea treatment. If you’re not comfortable with that option or it doesn’t work for you, your doctor may recommend an oral appliance or surgery.
3. Could Weight-loss Management Help My Sleep Apnea?
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) often benefit from weight loss. Being overweight is one of the most common risk factors contributing to sleep apnea so patients with mild sleep apnea will likely benefit from professional weight-loss management.
4. What I Can Do to Help My Sleep Apnea?
The answer is YES! One of the best things you can do on your own is to practice good sleep hygiene, which includes making sure that the environment you are sleeping in is conducive to restful and uninterrupted sleep.
5. What Are My Treatment Options?
Treatments for sleep apnea can include lifestyle changes like weight loss, avoiding alcohol before bed, and therapy-based treatments. It’s important to trust the expertise of professionals given their level of knowledge on the specific diagnosis, but it’s equally as critical that you stay informed and understand what your options are so that you can make informed decisions about your health.
6. How Will You Track My Progress?
Because sleep apnea is a chronic condition, it’s important to track your progress—both the positive and negative changes—to see how you’re responding to treatment and what can be improved. Ask about their specific methods for tracking so that you can have an idea of where you are on the path to recovery.
Learn More About What Questions to Ask About Sleep Apnea
Taking an interest in understanding your medical care is an important part of staying informed on your health decisions. While sleep apnea specialists can provide you with a diagnosis and subsequent treatment options, which option you select can sometimes be up to you. Dr. Firouzi specializes in sleep apnea treatment and neuromuscular dentistry, which makes his office an excellent resource for answers and treatments. Visit our contact page here or call (412) 274-1126 today for more information.