Anyone who has experienced it will tell you that lack of sufficient sleep can be extremely debilitating.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes the sufferer to stop breathing during sleep, temporarily starving the body of oxygen, and causing significant disruption to their sleep.
Some common symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, choking, making gasping sounds, waking up with a dry mouth and a sore throat, as well as a feeling of intense fatigue during the day.
Understanding Home Sleep Testing
Testing can be carried out in the comfort of your own home to determine if you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. While not as comprehensive as an in-lab study, it is a convenient way to collect the necessary data for your doctor to study.
You will be provided with equipment which you wear when you go to bed. The equipment monitors your breathing and blood oxygen levels, and some devices will also measure your heart rate or collate other information.
Then, when the test is finished, you simply take the equipment back to your physician, clinic, or sleep center. A specialist will analyze the data to determine your diagnosis, as well as if you need more tests.
Pros and Cons of Sleep Testing
A polysomnography is a sleep study that is typically carried out in a lab. The patient spends the night in the lab so that specialist equipment called polysomnography equipment (PSG) can record his or her physiological data.
The information which is gathered helps the Physician to determine whether or not the patient is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
It is extremely important to diagnose sleep apnea because repeatedly starving the body of oxygen for short amounts of time has many negative long-term consequences.
These could include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, pre-diabetes, memory loss and diabetes.
A diagnosis means that you can begin treatment immediately, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or surgery. With technological advancements, it is now possible to conduct a test at home.
Benefits of Sleep Testing
Sleep Testing at home is a less expensive option than testing in a lab, and the data that is collected more closely reflects how you slept during a normal night’s sleep, rather than how you slept in an artificial environment.
Home testing causes minimal disruption to your daily life as there is no need to travel to the lab or clinic, or change any plans that you have made for the day or evening.
You simply collect the data while you sleep as normal, return the equipment to the experts when the test has finished, and then let them do the work. If you are found to be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, you can begin the necessary treatment to improve your health and quality of life.
Who Should Undergo Home Testing?
You could be suitable for home testing if you and your physician are fairly sure that you have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, and have no other significant medical conditions.
If, however, you have a high risk of OSA, or your physician suspects another sleep disorder, you may not be suitable for home testing and may need to be assessed in a lab.
This also applies to those patients with certain other medical conditions, such as neuromuscular disease, congestive heart failure, or pulmonary diseases.
What Professionals are Saying About Sleep Testing
Since most people want to be tested as soon as possible, physicians report that their patients are usually happy to conduct their own home testing, rather than wait for an appointment at a sleep lab.
Access to a sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment is improved because it is easy and convenient to test yourself at home, and most doctors are seeing improved relationships with their patients as well. Further, sleep apnea diagnosis and treatments are often a natural extension of other disease management programs.
Many barriers to diagnosis and treatment are being effectively removed with the availability of home testing.
Sleep Rite Solutions
Obtaining the correct special equipment for home testing, and receiving care and support, is essential. We at Sleep Rite have a fully accredited team of doctors and sleep technicians, as well as years of experience and expertise.
We have state of the art equipment on hand to aid in diagnosis and treatment of sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea, and if it is determined that you should sleep in our lab, the experience will be comfortable and pleasant not to mention much cheaper than a hospital lab.
If you are concerned about your sleep patterns, and feel that you are not getting enough refreshing sleep at night, it could be worth investigating the possibility of sleep apnea with your doctor.
A diagnosis and effective treatment will improve your life significantly – and home testing makes a diagnosis more accessible than ever. Contact us at Sleep Rite for more information!