Although in recent years there has been a great deal of progress made on sleep apnea awareness and education for both the public and for doctors, there’s still a long way to go in terms of getting the condition to be foremost on the minds of doctors, who may fail to diagnose the condition.
To make sure that your sleep apnea is properly diagnosed, you have to take an active role in appointments with your doctor and give him or her all the information they need to make the proper conclusion.
Sleep Apnea Is Invisible
Probably the biggest obstacle to your doctor recognizing sleep apnea is that it doesn’t occur when you’re in the office. Unless you are so sleepy that you’re dozing off in the doctor’s waiting room, they won’t see any signs of the condition when you come into their office.
The symptoms your doctor is likely to observe is if you are obese, have a large neck circumference, or have high blood pressure. But even in these cases, your doctor may not put together the clues and recognize that sleep apnea may be a risk for you.
Mention Your Symptoms
During your meeting with a doctor, it’s important to mention all relevant symptoms to ensure your doctor has the information necessary to determine that you may have sleep apnea. At a minimum, mention if you experience any of the following:
It’s important to mention symptoms because they may help your doctor get a proper diagnosis if there is another problem instead of or in addition to sleep apnea.
When All Else Fails . . .
And, of course, if your doctor still doesn’t mention the possibility of sleep apnea, it’s up to you to mention it. Sometimes your doctor may not think sleep apnea is likely to be a problem because you may not fit the conventional model of a sleep apnea sufferer. You may not be overweight, may have a slender neck, or may be a woman, for example, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have sleep apnea. Once you’ve brought it up, it’s likely that your doctor will understand that this condition is the link between your symptoms.
If you want help talking to your doctor or want a referral to a sleep clinic, please call 402-493-4175 today for an appointment with Omaha sleep dentist Dr. Roger Roubal at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.