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Celebrate National Sleep Awareness Week March 5-11

By Pamela Li, in News, on March 7, 2012 | Comments (0)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – March 5-11 is National Sleep Awareness Week and one Ottawa general dentist is using it as an opportunity to educate the public about the at-home polysomnograph test offered at her dental clinic.

The annual weeklong education and awareness campaign is sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation and aims to promote the importance of sleep, especially since March 11 is when daylight saving time begins and we all lose an hour of sleep.

“A good night of sleep with uninterrupted breathing patterns can contribute to a healthier heart, stronger immune system and much more,” said Dr. Pamela Li, an Ottawa dental crown and veneers provider.

While Dr. Li is not a physician and therefore cannot diagnose sleep apnea, she can screen patients and provide a baseline for their sleep problems that patients can then discuss with their doctor.

Sleep apnea is categorized by a pause in breathing during sleep that deprives the body of oxygen. Symptoms include snoring, daytime drowsiness, irritability, weight gain, gasping, choking, sudden awakenings and many other sleep problems.

“Many people suffer from sleep apnea, but they never attribute their tiredness to the way they sleep, so they ignore the problem,” said the cosmetic dentist.

Doctors diagnose sleep apnea using a polysomnograph test that monitors and determines the severity of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. During sleep the machine records snore volume, sleeping position, airflow, heart rate and rhythm, oxygen levels, and chest movement. While a physician at a sleep clinic can make a complete diagnosis, Dr. Li has a modified home version of the PSG recorder for patient use in her dental clinic.

Patients take the machine home where they are able to sleep in the comfort of their own home and after using it for two nights, Dr. Li downloads all of the data and then gives them the results in a few days. If they appear to show signs of sleep apnea, Dr. Li will then recommend them to a physician who can officially diagnose them.

Patients are then given an oral appliance to wear while sleeping. Dr. Li prefers the two-piece removable appliances, as they can be adjusted and are the most effective. After one month of using the appliance, Dr. Li sends them home with the PSG recorder again to ensure the appliance is working properly.

“The diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea is very effective and many patients enjoy a restful night’s sleep with the oral device, which is surprisingly comfortable,” said Dr. Li.

© 2012 Master Google and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization is granted, with the stipulation that Master Google, a company that offers Google site ranking, is credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this press release is strictly prohibited with the exception of herein imbedded links.

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