If you snore frequently, feel tired during the day, and suffer from declining health, there is a very good chance that you could have sleep apnea. Accurate diagnosis requires certain data that is gathered while you sleep. Since most of our patients prefer not to spend the night in an uncomfortable laboratory, we offer a convenient at-home sleep test. It will gather all the necessary data, while you sleep in your own bed, in your home.
About apnea diagnosis
There is no blood test or similar diagnostic for apnea. The presence and severity of the condition can only be determined by measuring pauses in breathing and monitoring your oxygen levels while you are sleeping. When breathing ceases for at least ten seconds, it is considered an apnea, while the partial loss of breath for that length of time is a hypopnea. The breathing stoppage even may last just ten seconds, but it may take three times that long for the blood-oxygen level to recover. This data is gathered via a sleep study.
A qualified medical professional will review the sleep study results, and determine your AHI (apnea-hypopnea index). This number is used to gauge the severity of apnea:
- Normal – Fewer than five events an hour
- Mild – Between five and fourteen events an hour
- Moderate – Between fifteen and thirty events an hour
- Severe – Over thirty events an hour
About the sleep test
You are probably wondering, “how do I get a sleep study done?” There are a couple of options. One is to spend the night in a specialized laboratory for a full sleep study. Cost, convenience, and comfort may be prohibitive for that option. Many people don’t sleep well in an unfamiliar environment, particularly the cold and clinical atmosphere of a laboratory, leading some patients to question the accuracy.
The alternative is an accurate home sleep apnea reading, using a small device that gathers data while you snooze in your own bed. When it comes to a home sleep study vs lab, most patients prefer the at-home option, unless specific circumstances necessitate the alternative.
Give us a call at Snoring & CPAP Solutions LLC office in Lake County for more information or to schedule a free consultation.
Snoring and CPAP Solutions LLC
Snoring and CPAP Solutions LLC is committed to helping patients with sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea that interferes with their day to day life. Dr. Stern is a Qualified member of The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and holds more than 2 decades of experience in the field.
Dr. Michael Stern
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, at-home sleep tests are highly accurate. As long as you follow the instructions you’re given, your sleep test will be able to diagnose you properly. Despite being more convenient than a test at a sleep clinic, the take-home test doesn’t sacrifice much quality.
Your at-home sleep test will measure your heart rate, blood-oxygen level, airflow, and breathing patterns while you’re asleep to determine if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. Your test results are returned to your physician to be examined before a diagnosis is given.
To be tested for sleep apnea, you’ll need to see a medical professional to obtain an at-home sleep test. We offer these devices through our office, so you can conveniently test for sleep apnea. You’ll simply follow the instructions given to you with the equipment and sleep as you normally would while hooked up to the device.
Once you’ve conducted your at-home sleep test, simply return the equipment to us. We’ll ensure a qualified medical professional examines your results to determine if you have sleep apnea.
An at-home sleep test shows if you have a sleep disorder by measuring your oxygen flow, heart rate, movement in your chest and abdomen, and airflow. A physician can then examine these results to determine if you require treatment for a sleep issue.
In the case of sleep apnea, your physician will be able to see how many apneas, or pauses in breathing, you’ve had. They can then diagnose you with sleep apnea and determine the severity of your condition so you can receive the treatment you need.