Who are these sleep disorders doctors? Do you know which doctor to go to address sleep problems? If not, you are not alone. Most people are not aware of whom to go to unless their doctor recommends them to someone.
Sleep Specialists: Who are They?
The sleep specialist is a doctor who analyzes and deal with sleep disorders. Most sleep specialists have a practice in internal medicine, pediatrics, or neurology during residency. After finishing residency, they complete a training program in sleep medication.
The doctor must pass a thorough exam to be boarded. When a doctor is boarded in sleep medicine, the specialist can interpret sleep problems and create a sleep medicine practice. Typically, this specialist will see patients with other health conditions like neurological or pulmonary conditions, depending on her training.
Then again, a doctor may not get the sleep medication certification required to understand sleep disorders yet has a particular interest and seeks extra training in this practice. These sleep disorders doctors can be internal medicine physicians, psychiatrists, pulmonologists, neurologists, or even dentists.
When to Visit A Sleep Doctor
You can see a sleep specialist if you:
- snore or gasp for air during sleep
- feel tired during the day, whether you slept the night before
- struggle to fall asleep or remain asleep throughout the night
- cannot do your regular activities because you are exhausted
Your physician may refer you to a sleep specialist for an assessment after going over your manifestations. The sleep doctor can analyze and treat sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome (RLS), OSA, or insomnia.
Sleep Disorders Doctors That You Can Visit
It is essential to know that not all primary care physicians can be sleep specialists and deal with your sleep problems. However, most of them are now handling several medical conditions, like hypertension and diabetes, without recommending them to another specialist. This additionally applies to sleep. That is why it is worth asking your primary care physician if they manage sleep disorders. If not, you may ask for a referral or see the following doctors who can manage sleep issues.
Though obstructive sleep apnea is fundamentally a breathing problem, a neurologist can identify other sleep disorders like central sleep apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy with neurological issues. Most of the time, your primary physician will not refer you to a neurologist if they speculate obstructive sleep apnea is the cause of your sleep issues. However, they may probably refer you to a different doctor, such as an ENT or pulmonologist.
In any case, if you have other manifestations that may show a neurological reason for your symptoms, you may end up with a neurologist.
Pulmonologists are sleep specialists whom you can visit. They are incredibly familiar with sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) since it happens when you pause breathing while sleeping because of the blockage in the aviation route. This type of sleep specialists can manage other illnesses like asthma, COPD, and other breathing disorders that they might identify with sleep apnea. Hence, some pulmonologists will choose to become boarded in sleep medicine. They might be associated with a sleep center or own and interpret sleep disorders for their patients.
Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)
An otolaryngologist or ENT doctor is an expert who manages issues in the ears, nose and throat. You may visit this specialist if you have a deviated septum or your kid needs her tonsils eliminated. Since sleep apnea and snoring happen because of throat blockage, the ENT may see these problems during the assessment. This type of sleep disorders doctors has commonly suggested surgical procedure to manage sleep apnea or snoring. Even though this technique works well for children, the surgical procedure has mixed outcomes for grown-ups.
Many ENT doctors will arrange sleep studies and suggest continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for their patients with sleep apnea. If this treatment is not successful or the patients discover that they only suffer from snoring and not sleep apnea, the sleep doctor may not consider the surgery.
No specialist looks into more mouths regularly than a dental professional. On top of that, you will probably see your dentist two times a year, more than any other doctor. Therefore, the dentist has an extraordinary chance of dealing with sleep disorders, commonly obstructive sleep apnea and teeth grinding. Dentists are likewise extremely keen on offering choices to the best quality level treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Though CPAP is the only method for sleep apnea that is a hundred percent successful, some patients may decrease their sleep disorders with an oral device. Oral apparatuses can work for certain patients and be covered by an insurance company, such as Medicare. If you suffer from snoring only, you can find out about oral devices that stop or lessen snoring.
This last category of sleep doctors may sound astounding, yet psychiatrists have the most significant portion of patients with sleep disorders going from insomnia to sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Insomnia is typically common and might be a side effect of sleep apnea. These sleep disorders can result in extreme daytime sleepiness, which can influence mood, depression, anxiety, sex drive and more. That is why your psychiatrist will probably ask you how you are sleeping and has a chance to distinguish if you are in danger of a sleep disorder. If so, this type of sleep specialist may recommend you for a sleep study at a testing office or to one of the other doctors above.