Sleep Apnea Testing
Before sleep apnea treatment can be addressed, a proper diagnosis must be determined. Diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can be difficult, as the disorder manifests itself while you sleep. Sleep apnea testing occurs either in a sleep study at a sleep center or an at-home sleep test.
In-Lab Sleep Apnea Testing
A certified sleep physician will administer your sleep apnea study, which usually takes place in a sleeping lab. You will have to stay overnight at the sleep center so that a polysomnogram can monitor your heart rate, brain waves, and breathing pattern as you sleep. Your eye movements, limb movements, and blood oxygen levels are also tracked. Once your sleep study is concluded, this information will help your doctor craft an effective treatment plan for your sleep apnea. In-lab testing is more expensive than an at-home test, but some patients may require its precise results. Ask your doctor which one is best for you.
At-Home Sleep Apnea Testing
The information collected during an at-home sleep apnea test is not unlike that acquired through an in-lab test. The primary difference between the two is that you are able to sleep at home while wearing the provided equipment. This study usually requires the patient set up the equipment themselves. Be sure to ask questions regarding this set-up prior to undergoing your at-home test. All at-home sleep tests measure your breathing and blood oxygen levels, while some may also track your heart rate.
Which Sleep Apnea Testing Is Right for Me?
Home sleep testing is often recommended for those patients who have no other preexisting medical conditions aside from OSA. Doctors usually only pursue testing for those patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea. If your doctor feels you may have another sleep disorder, you may be sent to a sleep center for a sleep test. If you have heart or lung problems, an in-lab sleep study is probably best.
If you feel you may have sleep apnea and would like to undergo testing, call our office today to schedule a consultation with our sleep apnea specialist.