The current evidence does show that sleep apnea is a significant but reversible risk factor towards heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation and hypertension. Treatment can be helpful in reducing this risk.
Patients with narcolepsy, especially associated with cataplexy, have a high risk of motor vehicle accidents and must be reported to the Ministry of Transportation. Patients with well treated narcolepsy can sometimes drive.
Obesity is the most frequent cause of obstructive sleep apnea and if weight loss can be achieved and maintained sleep apnea can improve. Upper airway surgery occasionally may result in cure. You should however never stop your treatment without discussing this with your sleep physician.
You will have a private room with a large-sized comfortable bed. Most patients are able to sleep reasonably. We do recognize that people sometimes do not sleep outside of their normal environment and we take this into account when analyzing the results from your study.
Due to the public health risk of bringing bed bugs into the clinic, we do not allow patients to bring their own pillow or sheets. You should bring your own 2-piece pajamas, which may help you feel at home. Reading material is allowed. You must turn your cell phone off during the study so not to disrupt the results or others being tested in the facility.
The Ontario Ministry of Health will allow a diagnostic study that can be ordered through any licensed physician. Any further testing, including CPAP studies must be undertaken with prior consultation by a sleep physician. A CPAP test can be performed every 2 years. Under special circumstances, an application can be made to the Ministry of Health for additional studies prior to this interval.
Upper airway (UPPP) and laser surgery (LAUP) has a low probability of curing sleep apnea and it is difficult to predict in advance if surgery may be effective. In selected patients with enlarged tonsils, surgery can be of value. Nasal surgery has limited benefits, but will usually not cure sleep apnea.
In 70% of cases oral appliances can effectively treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. It is not as effective in severe sleep apnea. It is difficult to predict in advance who will fail therapy. Tolerance wearing the device at night is variable.
All CPAP devices currently available will adequately treat obstructive sleep apnea. The differences that exist are primarily a matter of convenience, comfort and personal preference. There are, however, different types of sleep apnea that may benefit from different types of positive airway pressure devices.
CPAP therapy should never be stopped without consent from your sleep specialist. Travel of any sort does not qualify as a valid reason to stop or suspend your treatment. Your CPAP service provider can give you helpful tips and suggestions to make travel with CPAP simple and care-free.