Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does Napa Valley Sleep Solutions screen for Snoring and/or Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
A: Dr. Williams begins with a detailed personal history from the patient, and a separate brief history about the patient given by the bed partner. He will then conduct tests to investigate, diagnose, and pinpoint a suitable treatment. These tests are conducted in his office or at home depending on the circumstances. In some cases, Dr. Williams will refer patients to a qualified sleep center for additional evaluation prior to reaching his diagnosis.
Q: Is Snoring an indication of serious medical issues?
A: Snoring is a social problem that frequently disrupts sleeping for snorers and their bed partner. It can easily affect your quality of life, and often is embarrassing and inconvenient, causing issues in personal relationships. Snoring can be an indicator of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a more serious medical condition.
Q: What are the the symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
A: Generally people with even mild Sleep Apnea experience fatigue, daytime sleepiness, lack of vitality, frequently snore, and wake up due to lack of breathing. People with Sleep Apnea typically also snore, but not always. People with Sleep Apnea are frequently overweight.
Q: Wouldn’t I know if I woke up often during the night?
A: Many of us wake up without knowing the cause. Usually your spouse or partner is the first indicator that something is wrong. If you experience fatigue and a lack of vitality, combined with snoring and some information from your spouse or partner, you may be at risk.
Q: What should I do if I think I have Sleep Apnea?
A: Consult with your primary care physician. He or she can refer you to a sleep medical specialist or sleep lab for a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea.
Q: Is Sleep Apnea dangerous?
A: Sleep Apnea is very dangerous. It means that you have stopped breathing, sometimes hundreds of times per night. Every time you stop breathing, even if for only a few seconds, your body is receiving little or no oxygen. It is estimated that people with sleep apnea have a 200%-300% increase in heart disease, stoke, diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer’s and experience general fatigue.
Q: What are the long term effects of Sleep Apnea?
A: Possible long-term effects of Sleep Apnea include: Increase in heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and chronic fatigue. All of the body is effected, as is your general well being.
Q: What is CPAP?
A: CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and it is considered the Gold Standard for treating sleep apnea. The patient sleeps with a facial mask hooked up to a machine the pumps air under pressure into your body (past any obstructions in your airway.) Many patients cannot tolerate the CPAP machine – or find it too cumbersome – and seek oral device therapy as an easier, more comfortable solution. Learn more about the difference between CPAP and Oral Therapy for sleep apnea.
Q: What treatments does Napa Valley Sleep Solutions provide?
A: For snoring, Dr. Williams creates removable oral appliances. The appliances are designed to open the main (throat) airway by moving the lower jaw forward, increasing your bite so that your teeth do not touch, or moving the tongue forward. We determine the appropriate device based on your unique dental anatomy.
For sleep apnea patients, Dr Williams evaluates your airway to determine where there is narrowing of the airway. With that information he formulates an oral device therapy plan specifically for you. If Dr. Williams determines that the obstruction is in your nose, he will refer you to an ENT physician for further evaluation.
Q: Does Insurance cover treatment?
A: Most major medical insurance covers treatment for sleep apnea, but not for snoring. We will help you get approval from you Insurance carrier prior to treatment.
Q: May I call you with questions before making an appointment?
A: Dr. Williams and his staff encourage patients to call if they are initially hesitant to make an appointment.