Many doctors can play a role in your sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. Some doctors are specialists in sleep disorders, while others specialize in other areas of medicine.
Your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist for testing if they suspect you have obstructive sleep apnea based on your physical examination and symptoms. This is a great place to begin.
Look for a Board-Certified Sleep Medicine Doctor
Sleep disorders can significantly impact have a significant impact on your overall health. They can cause daytime drowsiness, muscle weakness, and mood changes, negatively impacting your work and family life.
If your primary care physician believes you have a sleep condition, they may recommend that you see a board-certified specialist in sleep medicine. Snoring, insomnia, and obstructive sleep apnea are just a few of the sleep disorders that the best sleep apnea doctor in Houston is skilled at recognizing and treating. They aid in improving your sleep quality, which benefits your health, emotions, and mental function.
To become a sleep specialist, doctors usually undergo residency training in internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, or neurology and then complete a year of fellowship training in sleep medicine.
After fellowship, physicians must pass an exam to become board certified in sleep medicine. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) requires that physicians holding board certification maintain their credentials by keeping a certification program emphasizing continuing professional development and assessment.
Choose a Doctor Who Specializes in Sleep Disorders
Your healthcare physician can suggest a sleep disorder specialist if you have a sleep disorder. These medical professionals focus on treating sleep-related breathing disorders like obstructive sleep apnea. (OSA).
A doctor specializing in sleep disorders may be a primary care physician or internal medicine physician, pulmonologist, otolaryngologist (ENT), psychiatrist, neurologist, dentist, or another medical professional with additional training and certification in sleep medicine.
They typically conduct diagnostic sleep studies in a sleep lab.
Your doctor will take a detailed health history and physical exam before conducting the study. After the examination, your doctor will analyze the results and discuss your treatment options.
To treat your obstructive sleep apnea, which helps open your airway so you can breathe more easily. In contrast, your sleep apnea specialist may recommend a CPAP machine, weight loss, surgery, drugs, or dental appliances if you sleep. They aid in the development of sound sleep practices and the prevention of sleep-related problems in the future.
Ask Your Primary Care Physician for a Referral
If you have been suffering from snoring or other sleep apnea symptoms, ask your primary care physician for a referral to a doctor specializing in the condition. A doctor who focuses on sleep disorders, such as a somnologist, will conduct a sleep study to monitor what happens in your brain and body while you are asleep. Depending on your condition, the somnologist may recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or a device that gently blows air into your nose or throat to keep your airways open while you sleep.
You should know that many health insurance plans require a referral for a sleep study from your primary care physician. Before your appointment, it’s helpful to note any questions or issues you want to bring up with the doctor.
Look for an Otolaryngologist or Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor
The first step in finding the finest sleep apnea specialist is to request a recommendation from your primary care physician. They could recommend an ENT specialist for your ear, nose, and throat (ENT) problems.
The ENT is a medical specialty that dates back to the 19th century when doctors realized that the head and neck contained a series of interconnected systems. They developed tools they could use to examine these systems, forming the foundation for the ENT medical specialty.
An otolaryngologist has extensive training in a variety of specialized areas. They treat a wide range of disorders, including problems with hearing and balance, facial deformities, and head and neck cancers.
They also manage chronic sinusitis, allergies, and rhinitis. They perform endoscopic sinus surgery to remove material from the sinuses that can cause infections and block breathing. They can also help you eliminate a snoring problem that can cause sleep apnea.