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Can You Take A Sleep Apnea Test At Home

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Ordering Your Home Sleep Study Kit:

About a Home Sleep Apnea Test

Ordering your home sleep study is quite simple. Youll reach an online ordering page where you can easily add a sleep study to your cart from your computer, tablet, phone, and most other internet-enabled devices, similar to online shopping.

Once you add the test, you will choose from a variety of shipping options and enter in your appropriate shipping information. Once complete, you will pay for the cost of the test and shipping with your credit or debit card information. Your sleep testing unit will then be sent to your provided address once check out and processing is complete.

Challenges To Implementation: Recommendations May Present A Challenge But Insurance Should Not

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that portable monitoring must record airflow, respiratory effort, and blood oxygenation, and the device must be able to display the raw data to be interpreted by a board-certified sleep medicine physician according to current published standards. Implementation would require appropriate selection of a home monitoring device, consultation with a sleep medicine specialist, and significant patient education to ensure interpretable results.

Insurance should not be a barrier to implementation as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services accept home sleep apnea testing results for CPAP prescriptions. However, variability currently exists regarding the extent to which private insurers provide coverage for home sleep apnea testing.

American Sleep Apnea Association

We envision a world in which most people suffering from sleep apnea are diagnosed, aware, educated and treated. This serious syndrome, when left untreated has a large influence on quality of life and multiple life-threatening implications. Yet it is highly treatable. Unfortunately it is estimated that more than 80% of people suffering from sleep apnea are undiagnosed. To help those living with sleep apnea, we work relentlessly to promote

  • better awareness in the general public and among health professionals and,
  • affordable, convenient and highly effective diagnoses and treatments.
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    Getting Tested For Sleep Apnoea

    If a GP thinks you might have sleep apnoea, they may refer you to a specialist sleep clinic for tests.

    At the clinic, you may be given devices that check things like your breathing and heartbeat while you sleep.

    You’ll be asked to wear these overnight so doctors can check for signs of sleep apnoea.

    You can usually do this at home, but sometimes you may need to stay in the clinic overnight.

    The test can show if you have sleep apnoea and how severe it is. This is based on how often your breathing stops while you sleep .

    Possibility Of Technological Malfunctions


    Since they are not overseen by a qualified health professional, home sleep apnea tests are more vulnerable to errors. For example, it is possible for sensors to fall off or become dislodged while you are sleeping, which you may not realize until you wake up. During a lab-based polysomnogram, on the other hand, a technician can reset the sensors and ensure everything is working as expected.

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    Conditions That Require In

    Due to the nature of the testing and its limitations, the following exclusion criteria are observed. In some cases, the factor may interfere with the proper administration of the test at home. There are also some medical conditions in which a formal sleep study in a testing center is required to properly diagnose the disorder. The most common reasons to not to have a home sleep apnea test include:

    • Cognitive or language barriers that interfere with test administration
    • Moderate to severe pulmonary disease
    • Neuromuscular disease
    • Narcolepsy

    Testing may be considered on a case-by-case basis among patients who are unable to have attended polysomnography due to immobility, safety, or critical illness concerns. Patients who are insured by Medicare may require a higher index of suspicion given the more stringent scoring criteria used with home testing.

    Is Home Sleep Apnea Testing Right For Me

    There are specific criteria that are used to identify patients who can undergo home sleep apnea testing. These guidelines will maximize the success of the test and ensure the proper diagnosis.

    Currently, it is recommended that pediatric patients still undergo an attended diagnostic polysomnogram. Therefore, HSAT is restricted to those people who are 18 years or older. Those with a high likelihood of moderate to severe sleep apnea based on presenting symptoms and contributory anatomy should be selected for home testing. Some of the most important symptoms include:

    • Loud snoring
    • Obesity
    • Middle to older age

    It is often important for a board-certified sleep specialist to evaluate you to determine the appropriate test for you. In some cases, there may be contraindications to home sleep testing.

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    Equipment Frequently Used For A Sleep Study

    During a sleep study, surface electrodes will be put on your face and scalp and will send recorded electrical signals to the measuring equipment. These signals, which are generated by your brain and muscle activity, are recorded digitally. Belts around your chest and abdomen measure your breathing. A bandage-like oximeter probe on your finger measures the oxygen in your blood.

    The Pros And Cons Of Home Sleep Apnea Testing

    Home Sleep Apnea Testing

    There are certain obvious benefits to having a home sleep apnea test. One of the biggest attractions is the greater convenience of being able to sleep in your own bed at home. If you are a responsible caretaker for another person, including children, this may make things easier. There are fewer wires required for measurement, which makes the testing less intrusive and more comfortable. The testing is generally less expensive , often costing just several hundred dollars compared to the more than $1000 that in-lab studies frequently cost. Insurance often covers these expenses. Due to the increasing availability, it might be done more quickly with a speedy turnaround to start treatment.

    Before choosing to have a home sleep apnea test, you should also consider the potential cons of this testing. As noted, this testing is used to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea alone. It is not appropriate for the evaluation of central sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, circadian disorders, parasomnias, narcolepsy, seizures, and other disorders.

    If the test comes back as negative, with a normal result, this may not necessarily be accurate. Mild sleep apnea may be missed. This is especially important in younger women and people of normal body weight.

    Generally, if the home sleep apnea test fails to diagnose sleep apnea, an in-lab test will be recommended to definitively evaluate the condition.

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    Sleep Apnea Test At Home: How It Works

    The National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project reports that at least 25 million adults in the U.S. are affected by obstructive sleep apnea , the most common form of sleep apnea. As the disorder can lead to serious health complications when left untreated, early diagnosis is crucial. If you’re having symptoms of OSA, you may be interested in at-home sleep study options that donĂ¢t require you to spend the night in a lab. Read on to find out more about how these tests work.

    What To Know About An At

    Do you find yourself waking up tired, or maybe with a headache or drymouth?Obstructive sleep apneacould be to blame. This happens when your breathing is interrupted duringsleep, often for more than ten seconds.

    When you sleep, your muscles relax, including the throat and chest muscles that help you breathe. If you have sleep apnea, relaxation of throat muscles combine with a narrowed airway to interrupt breathing.

    At-home sleep apnea testing is an easy, cost-effective way to figure out whether youre having trouble breathing, says Susheel P. Patil, MD, PhD, clinical director of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Medicine Program. A home sleep apnea test is a very simplified breathing monitor that tracks your breathing, oxygen levels, and breathing effort while worn. It does not fully capture what is monitored with an overnight sleep study. Overnight sleep studies give a more thorough assessment of sleep issues. They are attended by a sleep technologist and capture many more signals, including brainwaves for sleep, muscle tone, and leg movements. For individuals with certain heart, breathing, or neuromuscular problems, an overnight sleep study at a sleep center may be better.

    If you are being told that you snore, snort and gasp, if you have disrupted sleep or are sleepy during the day, and you are overweight or obese, an at-home sleep apnea test may be very appropriate. Talk with your clinical provider about your options., Patil says.

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    Home Sleep Apnea Tests

    • In some cases, your doctor may provide you with a simplified test to be used at home to diagnose sleep apnea. These tests involve measuring your heart rate, blood oxygen level, airflow and breathing patterns. If you have sleep apnea, the test results will show drops in your oxygen level during apneas and subsequent rises with awakenings.
    • If the results are abnormal, your doctor may be able to prescribe a therapy without further testing. Unfortunately, Home Sleep Studies also referred to as an HST dont detect all cases of sleep apnea. So your doctor may still recommend a polysomnography even if your initial results are normal.

    Because a Home Sleep Study is used strictly for diagnosing sleep apnea, it requires far less equipment than an in-lab study. The Home Sleep Study Kit comes in a small package that includes a device that is easy for patients to apply themselves. The kit includes:

    • a small nasal cannula to measure airflow
    • a belt around the upper chest to measure respiratory effort
    • a finger clip to measure the oxygen saturation in the blood

    How To Prepare For Your Sleep Study

    Sleep Apnea Testing

    If your doctor has determined that you need a sleep study, the test should be done during your normal sleep time. For example, if you work the night shift, then your study should be performed during the day.

    Ask your doctor any questions that you have before your test. On the day of your study, ask to see the equipment and have them tell you what it does. Most of the time, the sleep technicians do this anyway. If they dont, feel free to ask. They can address any special needs as well as relieve some of your nervousness.

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    The Night Of Your Home Sleep Study:

    When undergoing your home sleep test, its imperative that you stick to your normal bedtime routine. You shouldnt behave any differently during your pre-bedtime routine than you would on any other night and try to get to bed and wake up around your usual timeswhich should constitute a full nights sleep.

    Once you are wearing the device properly, turn it on when you get into bed even if you dont fall asleep right away. The best rule is to try to get at least 3 straight hours of uninterrupted sleep for more accurate results.

    Arranging And Performing A Home Sleep Apnea Study

    Patients who have been screened and are deemed appropriate for HSAT will proceed with the evaluation. After your doctor has ordered the study, a technician or medical assistant will demonstrate how to apply the equipment. You will take it home and perform the test, typically over one or two nights.

    After the testing has been completed, the device is returned to be downloaded so the doctor can review the data and make a diagnosis and treatment recommendations. By having the test performed by a board-certified sleep specialist who can interpret the results, you can more quickly meet with a doctor who will direct your care and begin therapy to resolve your sleep apnea.

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    What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that results in an individual having disrupted breathing during the night. While sleeping, the soft tissues of the individuals throat collapse and block their airway, making it difficult to breathe. As a result, the individual snores, chokes, gasps, or coughs in an attempt to dislodge the blockage and allow air through the airway again. When an individual experiences undiagnosed and untreated obstructive sleep apnea, the breathing disruptions will leave them feeling unrested and tired, even after getting a full nights sleep.

    Preparing For Your Sleep Apnea Test

    Easy At-Home Test To Diagnose Sleep Apnea

    You and your doctor will determine which type of sleep apnea test is ideal for you. A popular choice is an at-home sleep test that allows you to self-administer the study from the comfort of your own home. Before the day of your test, the sleep study will be shipped to your home with instructions so you can feel confident and comfortable when administering it.

    Even though youll perform the sleep test at home, you must prepare for the test to ensure everything goes smoothly. On the day of the test, follow these tips to help you fall asleep quickly and soundly:

    Using any of these tactics will help you get into the right mindset before self-administering your home sleep study.

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    Alter Your Sleep Position

    Though a small change, altering your sleep position can reduce sleep apnea symptoms and improve your nights rest. A 2006 study found that more than half of obstructive sleep apnea cases are dependent on position.

    have shown sleeping on your back called the supine position can worsen symptoms. For some adults, sleeping on the side can help breathing return to normal.

    However, a found that children with sleep apnea sleep better on their backs.

    Discuss body positioning and your sleep apnea symptoms with your doctor to evaluate your options for treatment.

    Obvious Symptoms Of Sleep Apnoea

    Most people will think nothing of the symptoms of Sleep Apnoea when they first appear. Everybody snores, it is normal to feel tired in the afternoon. But gradually the symptoms get more and more severe, disrupting your life at home, at work, or both. On average seven years pass between the first symptoms developing, and moving to Step 2. Think back, how long have you been snoring, feeling tired, or lacking energy?

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    Snore Score Sleep Apnea Quiz

    The Snore Score sleep apnea quiz was developed by the American Sleep Association to help individuals assess their risk for sleep apnea. Simply take a moment to answer the five questions online to better know if you should seek further testing or consult your doctor. If you answer yes to any of the sleep apnea test questions you should speak about your symptoms to a doctor or sleep specialist.

    Maintain A Healthy Weight

    The Easy Sleep Apnea Test Allows You to Get Tested At Home ...

    Doctors commonly recommend people with sleep apnea to lose weight. Obesity, specifically in the upper body, can increase the risk of airway obstruction and narrow nasal passages. These obstructions can cause you to stop breathing suddenly or for lengths of time while sleeping.

    Maintaining a healthy weight can keep your airways clear and reduce sleep apnea symptoms. Research shows that modest weight reduction in people with obesity can eliminate the need for upper airway surgery or long-term CPAP therapy.

    In some cases, weight loss can eliminate sleep apnea. However, if you regain the weight, its possible for the condition to return.

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    The Day Before Your Home Sleep Study:

    Dont put off preparing for your sleep study until the actual night. It may actually help to pretend you are getting ready to take the test the night before. If you do this, then you can take the following day to seek any answers or clarification you may have prior to the actual recording.

    Be sure that you have arrangements set up so that you can get an uninterrupted night of sleep. If you are a caregiver or have an infant/toddler who may frequently interrupt your sleep, it is best that you make arrangements for alternative care so you can ensure you get a good recording that can get you the answers you need about your potential sleep apnea.

    How Much Does A Home Sleep Test Cost

    The cost of an at-home sleep apnea test and use of sleep equipment varies. It often costs between $150 and $500. The cost is usually covered by most insurance companies. However, the patient must have the symptoms and meet medical necessity for an at-home sleep apnea test. Medicare, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, and most other insurance companies cover home sleep testing for sleep apnea.

    Suffering from sleep apnea isnt healthy for your mind or body, but there are plenty of resources to help you obtain a diagnosis and find the best treatment with your doctor. Home sleep tests are a convenient and cost-effective method for getting your sleep apnea diagnosis, so talk to your doctor today about whether it can work for you.

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    How Are Home Sleep Apnea Test Results Scored

    The sleep team will score and interpret the information collected through a home sleep apnea test. This may take several days or weeks. The sleep doctor will contact you to discuss the results. If the results are unclear, the doctor may recommend an in-lab sleep study.

    You also may need an in-lab sleep study if your home test:

    • Did not record enough data to make a diagnosis
    • Results indicate that you do not have sleep apnea, but your symptoms still fit with sleep apnea. A negative home sleep apnea test is not sophisticated enough to rule out sleep apnea and further testing is needed.

    If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, the sleep doctor will discuss treatment options with you and develop a plan.

    Reviewed by: Seema Khosla, MD and Rafael J. Sepulveda, MD

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