Severe Sleep Apnea- Breathing Difficulties. Anatomical problems or other cause? (photo)
Doctor Answers 8
Sleep apnea and proper diagnosis
Sleep apnea is very under diagnosed. It is difficult to get an assessment based on symptoms alone - usually the bed partner can identify the problem or witness the apneic events. I would see a sleep medicine specialist and ask for a polysomnogram (sleep study). This will give the most objective breathing, oxygen, and neurological information during your sleep. It will also be able to tell if you have an obstructive or another cause to the events. From the photo alone it doesn't appear you have a clear dentofacial cause, but it is a limited photo - a proper CT scan or cephalogram would help your diagnosis as well from a surgical planning perspective. Good luck.
Get a sleep test
The ONLY way to know if you have sleep apnea is from a sleep test, either a PSG (polysomnogram) or HST/OCST (home sleep test/outside center sleep test). The PSG is best, but the others can shed some light (but may indicate you need to do the PSG). Once we know what your sleep is like, advice is easier.
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It may be anatomical, it may be muscle spasms or it could be something else. Even acupuncture would be an avenue to pursue.
I wish that I could be more helpful--don't give up.
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