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Sleep Apnea | General Information
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, repeated breathing pauses occur, which often reduce your oxygen levels. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep.
Yes, if left untreated, sleep apnea may cause excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, as well as morning headaches and memory loss. Sleep apnea may also increase your risk of drowsy driving and workplace accidents. Untreated sleep apnea raises your risk for serious health problems.
It’s possible, but not definite. Chronic loud snoring is one of the most common findings with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and in fact the louder and more chronic the snoring is, the greater the likelihood of OSA.
This is a common sign of sleep apnea and should be discussed with your doctor.
Probably not. Most people with sleep apnea do not realize that they are waking up to breathe many times during the night. The arousal is slight, and people become accustomed to this, but it is enough to disrupt the pattern of sleep so that they get very little deep sleep or REM sleep, and often awaken feeling sleepy. A great many (probably most) sleep apnea sufferers go through a large part (or ALL) of their lives unaware of their condition.
Likewise regarding daytime sleepiness: people with sleep apnea often are not aware of feeling tired or unusually sleepy. The disorder develops over a number of years, and they are not aware of the increasing symptoms and believe they feel “normal”. Only after treatment do they realize how much more alert and energetic “normal” feels!
If you have sleep apnea you may wake up 50 or more times per hour during the night. This is equivalent to waking up almost every minute. Unfortunately all those awakenings prevent you from reaching the deeper and more restful sleep so it matters little how many hours you are in bed. The best solution is to get tested for sleep apnea; talk to your healthcare provider.
Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially fatal medical condition. If you or a loved one suspect you have it, you should be tested as soon as possible. Talk to your healthcare provider.
I was tested four years ago, my doctor told me that I had mild sleep apnea. Should I get tested again?
Discuss this with your doctor. The severity of sleep apnea can change over time depending on many factors (i.e. age, weight, other health conditions).
Sleep Apnea Treatment
It is a custom-fit dental device (i.e. like a sports mouthguard) that positions the lower jaw forward, which opens your airway and minimizes obstruction and treats sleep apnea. Oral appliances are easy to use and preferred by a lot of patients, but they don’t effectively treat everyone.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is a small device that provides a gentle flow of positive air pressure through a mask that fits over your nose and keeps the airway open during sleep. When used as prescribed, it works 100% of the time, but most patients have difficulty wearing it long-term.
I have been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, and I can’t use CPAP. Will oral appliance therapy work for me?
Only 50-70% of sleep apnea patients will be effectively treated with an oral appliance. A MATRx test will tell you and your doctor if oral appliance therapy is right for you, including the jaw position for your custom-fit appliance.
No. You will not be able to wear an orthodontic retainer and an oral appliance at the same time. Discuss this with your dentist.
MATRx plus Testing at Home | What to Expect
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, MATRx plus is the only test that can predict if your sleep apnea will be effectively treated with an oral appliance and the position to set your mandible. This means you will be able to start effective therapy, faster.
You will need to wear a small monitor around your waist and attach sensors to your body. The sensors record airflow in and out of your nose, your breathing pattern, snoring, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and the position you sleep in (i.e. on your back, side or stomach). You will also place temporary dental trays in your mouth. These trays will be connected to a small motor that will move your lower jaw slowly and in small increments through the night to keep your airway open.
We make it easy! MATRx plus technology is designed to keep it simple. Instructional videos on a bedside Tablet guide you through sensor setup and provide feedback along the way. If a problem with a sensor is affecting data collection, MATRx plus alerts you.
We recommend that you plan to sleep for 7 hours, which includes the time it takes you to fall asleep and any time that you may have to pause the study (i.e. when you get out of bed).
Yes, however you cannot wear this appliance during the sleep study.
You can wear it during a Baseline Study with the MATRx plus but not during the Oral Appliance Study. During the Oral Appliance Study, the temporary MATRx plus titration trays need to be placed firmly on your teeth in preparation for your study night.
Yes, If you can breathe comfortably through your nose in a supine position (i.e. lying on your back). Discuss this with your dentist prior to starting the study.
MATRx plus Testing at Home - Troubleshooting Tips for Patients
- Press the Pair button again
- If the Recorder’s LED lights are not Illuminating or flashing green, charge the Recorder’s battery and press the pair button
- If the Recorder’s LED light below the Play/Pause button flashes orange quickly, the Recorder and Tablet are no longer paired, therefore the study cannot be completed. Follow the instructions in Appendix 2: Re-Pairing a Tablet and Recorder.
- Charge the Recorder
- After charging is complete, confirm that the Recorder is paired with the Tablet by pressing the Pair button the on the Recorder
- If the Recorder and Tablet are paired, check the Recorder’s battery status by pressing the Recorder charge icon located on the top of the Tablet screen. The battery charge must be above 85% to continue.
Call the Technical Support hotline at 1 (877) 277-9832.
The pulse oximeter fell off sometime during the night. What can I do to prevent that from happening again and should I continue with my next study night?
You can use medical tape to secure the oximeter cable to the back of your hand. The night manager on the Tablet will instruct you on the need for additional study nights.
I woke up during my MATRx plus study night with post nasal drip and sinus congestion. Does that effect the results?
Call your MATRx plus Healthcare Provider in the morning after your study night.
- Make sure you have attached the charging cable to the charging port on the Recorder. Silver to silver, and line up the red dots.
- Check that there is power to the electrical outlet.
- If you are uncertain if the recorder is charging, call the Technical Support hotline at 1 (877) 277-9832.
Rinse them under cold water in the morning after your study and before re- inserting them at night.
My finger hurt after I wore the pulse oximeter for my MATRx plus study. What can I do to prevent this during my next study night?
You may pull your finger away from the inner tip of the pulse oximeter probe; this should help.
- Do not remove any sensors
- Pause the study by using the button on the Recorder or Tablet
- When you are ready to go back to sleep, press the same button on the Recorder or the Resume button on the Tablet
Pause and resume the study by using the button on the Recorder. This will give you another half an hour to fall asleep.
Pause and resume the study by using the button on the Recorder. This will stop the trays from moving for the next half hour so that you can fall asleep.