Dr. Meriwether is one of a select few in the Tuscaloosa area to be a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
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Clinical studies have shown a link between high blood pressure, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a common condition in which the upper airway repeatedly collapses during sleep, causing a decreased airflow that stresses the heart and the body during the night. If untreated, this condition has been associated with development of various heart disorders including stroke, high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms. For those with Type 2 diabetes, if untreated this condition may complicate glucose control.
What are the benefits of treating OSA?
* Lower blood pressure
* Improve daytime energy and stamina
* Relieve excess stress on the heart and vascular system
* Reduce the potential risk for heart attack, stroke and heart disease
* Prevent or delay the progression of diabetes
* Reduce diabetic complications
* Improve daytime energy and glucose control
Snoring may be affecting your quality of life.
CPAP is a breathing machine which is the gold standard in treating sleep apnea. However, less than 50% of the population will wear their CPAP machine on a regular basis. Others who do use their CPAP are inconvenienced in taking the machine with them on a vacation or business trip.
Dental appliances are intended to reduce or alleviate nighttime snoring and obstructive sleep apnea for those patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea and those patients with severe sleep apnea who can’t or won’t wear their CPAP machine. They are much more comfortable than CPAP machines for most people.
As an alternative to throat surgery or CPAP, consider a TAP (Thornton Adjustable Positioner) or a SomnoMed appliance. Somno Med.
Additional information online:
The only way to be sure if you have obstructive sleep apnea is to have a sleep test either at home from a qualified sleep physician or in a hospital sleep center, but a score of 9 or above on this test is an indication that you should see your doctor.
Please feel free to print this test, fill it out and take with you to your physician.
How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations?
Choose the most appropriate number for each situation:
0 = would never doze
1 = slight chance of dozing
2 = moderate chance of dozing
3 = high chance of dozing
|Sitting and Reading||_____|
|Sitting, inactive in a public place (theater, meeting, etc.)||_____|
|As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break||_____|
|Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit||_____|
|Sitting and talking to someone||_____|
|Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol||_____|
|In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic||_____|
A score of 9 or above indicates you may be having a problem with daytime sleepiness but below 9 does not necessarily mean that you don't have a problem. See your healthcare professional for advice if you snore, have been told that you awake gasping for breath or if you are sleepy during the day.