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How Do They Do A Sleep Study For Sleep Apnea

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What To Tell Your Primary Care Doctor If You Suspect You Have Sleep Apnea

How to know if you have sleep apnea

If you suspect sleep apnea, start by telling your primary care doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor will likely do three things: obtain a full medical history, conduct a physical exam, and possibly order a sleep test. She or he may also do further tests to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing your symptoms, such as an echocardiogram to evaluate the structure and function of the heart and problems such as heart failure an electrocardiogram to detect irregular heart rhythms thyroid function tests or arterial blood gases .

Other questions to expect from your primary care physician that may be helpful to make a sleep apnea diagnosis include the following:

Based upon her findings, your doctor may suggest an at-home sleep test or a sleep study performed in a sleep lab.

Who Interprets Your Measurements

Once you send back your at-home sleep test kit, a board certified sleep physician will review your data, such as blood oxygen saturation, breathing patterns, respiratory effort, body position, heart rhythms, and other bioelectric information. The physician will create a complete report that will interpret your results, giving you a diagnosis as well as treatment recommendations. Shortly after your results come back to your home sleep test provider, youll be contacted by a patient care representative who will go over your results with you and inform you of any sleep disorder diagnosis, like sleep apnea.

Should you receive a sleep disorder diagnosis, your patient care representative will review your treatment options with you. If youre diagnosed with sleep apnea, the most effective and common treatment is the use of an automatic positive airway pressure or AutoPAP machine. Other obstructive sleep apnea treatments included continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP machines, dental appliances, weight loss, or surgery.

An at-home sleep test is an excellent alternative to costly, uncomfortable in lab sleep studies. If you or someone you know are worried about potential sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, look into an at-home sleep test and see if its the right option for you. Knowing how to improve your quality of sleep will help you improve your quality of life and lessen your risk factors for other health problems down the road.

What Is Cpap Titration

CPAP titration studies are conducted overnight in the sleep laboratory. During the study, you will monitor your patient’s breathing and adjust the CPAP pressure to determine the proper air pressure required to prevent upper airway blockage, eliminating pauses in their breathing while they sleep.

You’ll fit your patient with a nasal mask that connects to a tube on a small pressure generating device. During a CPAP titration you will monitor their sleep just like you would during an in-lab diagnostic sleep study. You’ll measure their:

  • Breathing
  • Brain waves
  • Arm and leg movements

You’ll change your patient’s CPAP pressure remotely as needed during the night. The patient starts at low levels of pressure, which are then gradually increased when events are seen.

A patient may need a CPAP re-titration study if their previous symptoms like snoring, apnea, or daytime sleepiness come back despite their CPAP treatment. This allows for determination of their correct pressure setting.

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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.

Who Gets Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea sleep study: What to expect plus how it

Sleep apnea occurs in about 25% of men and nearly 10% of women. Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, including babies and children and particularly people over the age of 50 and those who are overweight.

Certain physical traits and clinical features are common in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. These include excessive weight, large neck and structural abnormalities reducing the diameter of the upper airway, such as nasal obstruction, a low-hanging soft palate, enlarged tonsils or a small jaw with an overbite.

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What To Expect During A Sleep Study

Your doctor will tell you whether to take your medications as usual or stop using them before the test. Donât have any caffeine or alcohol the day of the test, because they can interfere with the results. Bring comfortable pajamas, a book or magazine, and a special pillow if you use one.

On the night of your sleep study, if youâre in a sleep center lab, youâll be assigned to a private bedroom in the sleep center or hospital. Near the bedroom will be a central monitoring area, where the technicians monitor sleeping patients. Youâll have a private bathroom just let the technicians know when you need to use it so they can take off the wires connecting you to the monitoring equipment.

Youâll be hooked up to equipment that may look uncomfortable. But most people fall asleep with little trouble.

Similar, more portable equipment is available for home testing, especially for less complicated cases or situations.

When Is A Home Sleep Apnea Test Appropriate

Home testing is becoming more common to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea, with many insurance providers considering it a cost-effective alternative and some patients preferring its convenience. But it isnt suitable for everyone.

In the past, obstructive sleep apnea could only be diagnosed one way: through a sleep study, or polysomnography.

Thats still the most comprehensive assessment. But it also involves spending a night away from home hooked to a bevy of electrodes and machinery in a clinic bed. Home sleep apnea tests have given many people a convenient, more comfortable means of evaluation.

OSA is characterized by repeated obstructed or restricted breathing for periods of 10 seconds or longer, and it affects more than 25 million Americans. It leads to oxygen shortages that, in turn, result in health outcomes far worse than simply noisy breathing and unrefreshing sleep. OSA is associated with increased risk of stroke and heart disease, among other medical conditions.

Doctors, then, might recommend home testing or a formal sleep study to make sure people get the accurate diagnosis and treatment they need.

Below, Kaplish explains a few pros and cons of home sleep apnea tests.

Pro: They are comfortable

Pro: They cost less

Con: They arent as detailed

Con: They work best with serious cases

  • Snoring loudly
  • Tiredness, fatigue or sleepiness during the day
  • Observation by someone else of stopped breathing
  • Having high blood Pressure

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Ways Sleep Apnea Can Be Diagnosed Without A Sleep Study

Doctors have a few different ways to diagnose sleep apnea, one of which is through a sleep study. A sleep study involves staying overnight at a sleep center or lab that has equipment to monitor your breathing.

But sleep studies may be inconvenient for patients who feel uncomfortable spending nights away from home or dont have a lab nearby. Fortunately, there are other ways for doctors to diagnose you. A doctor might:

  • Examine you and evaluate your symptoms. Doctors can check your airway for blockages or look for swelling. They can also help rule out other possible conditions. Licensed dentists, like our team here at Muscaro & Martini Dentistry, can also help screen you for sleep apnea and provide recommendations.
  • Use an app. There are a variety of different smartphone apps that can be used to track snoring. These apps usually work by recording you at night and detecting loud sounds. However, these apps cant detect sleep apnea that occurs without snoring and may also pick up other sounds, like traffic noise.
  • Prescribe an at-home sleep test. An at-home test involves using a small monitoring device to measure your heart rate, airflow, and breathing patterns. They cant always accurately detect some cases, though, so your doctor may use this in combination with other screening methods.
  • Why Have A Sleep Study

    How Sleep Studies Work

    A sleep study is the only sure way to know if you have sleep apnea. The main type is an all-night sleep study done in a qualified sleep lab. It is called polysomnography . Sleep studies also can be done with portable equipment that you use at home.

    You might want a sleep study, because if you have sleep apnea and it’s not found and treated, it can interfere with your quality of life. It can make you too sleepy when you should be awake.

    It also is linked to problems such as:

    • High blood pressure.
    • High blood pressure in the lungs .
    • Depression.
    • .
    • Stroke.

    If you snore but don’t have other symptoms, you may not need a sleep study. Lifestyle changesâsuch as losing weight and sleeping on your sideâmay reduce your snoring.

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    Your Pressure Requirements Have Changed

    CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea, which provides a constant level of pressure continuously to the upper airway throughout the night while you sleep. If youre using your breathing machine each night but still suffering from sleep apnea symptoms, theres a chance you need to adjust the pressure levels. Scheduling a sleep apnea test with your physician will allow them to determine the new pressure for your CPAP machine.

    Will Treating Sleep Apnea Help

    Sleep apnea can make it hard for you to get good rest. It can make you tired during the day, and it can cause serious health problems. But treatment, like lifestyle changes, breathing machines, or oral or nasal breathing devices, can help. Breathing better at night can help you feel better during the day.

    Your doctor might recommend a sleep study if:

    • You have symptoms of sleep apnea, such as heavy snoring and being sleepy during the day.
    • You have a risk of other health problems from sleep apnea.
    • Lack of sleep is hurting your quality of life or raising safety issues.

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    You Might Have Other Sleep Issues

    Not all sleep disorders are caused by breathing trouble. If your symptomspersist, you might not have apnea. Other common sleep issues that dontaffect the airways include movement disorders that cause nighttimerestlessness or narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that affects the bodys sleep-wake cycles andcauses excessive sleepiness. Your physician can work with you to pinpointthe cause.

    How can I get accurate results from an at-home sleep test?

    For the most accurate home sleep apnea reading, its best to have sleep time on your back and side, Patil says. Sleep apnea is typically worse when sleepers are on their backs, and side sleeping can ease apnea. Knowing what happens when you sleep in different positions can help your doctor pinpoint whether you have apnea or some other sleep issue.

    What Is A Wearable

    Why Do I Need A Sleep Study?

    A wearable device, or wearable, is an electronic device with a micro-controller that can be worn directly on the body or incorporated into clothing. They often have internet connectivity, making them part of the Internet of Things . The cost of wearable technology dropped to a level that would allow widespread adoption by 2009, and sales began growing rapidly by 2013.

    Smart watches and activity trackers are some of the best-known examples of wearables in consumer electronics, although its uses are expanding rapidly as the technology develops. Professional athletes are also using wearables to obtain real-time monitoring and feedback on physical functions such as movements and energy expenditure. Other current applications for wearables are found in navigations systems, advanced textiles, and healthcare, especially elder care.

    Wearables can collect biometric data to provide valuable information on the heart, brain, and muscles. They also have great potential for generating big data, so researchers are shifting their focus to the development of algorithms that will provide insight into the collected data. Neural networks and statistical classification are currently the most promising data mining techniques for the data gathered by wearables.

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    What If I Cant Sleep During A Sleep Study

    You can bring up concerns over the ability to fall asleep during the study with your referring doctor, the sleep specialist, or the technician before the test. It may be possible to use an over-the-counter sleep supplement such as melatonin to help the process of falling asleep. The technicians present for your sleep study are likely well-versed in the apprehensions felt by patients, so talking it through with them may help settle any uneasiness.

    Relaxing breathing techniques, meditation tracks, or a book on tape can be helpful to have as a backup, and it’s a good idea to avoid caffeine and naps the day you check in for the study.

    Preparing For A Sleep Study

    Do not have any caffeine in the afternoon or evening before an overnight sleep study. This includes coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate. Also avoid drinking any alcohol. You do not want any substance to affect your sleep. Try not to take any naps that day. Before going to the sleep center, wash your hair with shampoo only. Dry your hair and do not apply any hair sprays, oils or gels. If used, they could interfere with the sensors during the study.

    Pack an overnight bag to take with you to the center. Bring comfortable pajamas and a change of clothes for the morning. Include the same items you would take for a stay at a hotel. You may also want to bring your own pillow. Bring your medications if you will need to take them while you are away from home. If you have special needs or concerns, tell the sleep center staff ahead of time. They will do all they can to help you feel relaxed and at ease.

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    What Is A Maintenance Of Wakefulness Test

    This test is administered over a full day at the sleep clinic and is used to measure how awake or alert your patient is during the day. It also measures if they can stay awake for a certain amount of time in a relaxing, quiet, and stimulation-free environment.

    You will give your patients two to four forty-minute trials during the day in a dimly lit and quiet bedroom. You’ll have them look forward while sitting still and not doing anything stimulating, such as reading, singing, talking aloud, or pinching themselves, that could keep them awake intentionally.

    Two to three hours after your patient’s normal wake-up time you’ll begin the first trial. Your patient will typically have breakfast about an hour before their first trial and lunch after their second.

    Trials are scheduled about two hours apart. Your patients may have a meal, watch TV, read a book, or move freely around the clinic between trials. They should be monitored between trials.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

    Do You Need a Sleep Study?

    Symptoms of sleep apnea can include:

    • Being so sleepy during the day that it gets in the way of the normal things you do, such as work or school.
    • Feeling tired in the morning.
    • Having trouble concentrating.
    • Waking up with a headache.

    Your bed partner may notice that while you sleep:

    • You stop breathing.
    • You gasp or choke.
    • You toss and turn.

    Snoring and lack of sleep from apnea can make it hard to get through the day. You may feel grouchy a lot and have trouble focusing on work and activities. If you snore, your bed partner also might not get enough sleep. This can make your relationship suffer.

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    Sleep Study Scoring Services

    One of the ways your sleep study test results can be tabulated is by a sleep study scoring service. There are several services offered for polysomnograms and home sleep tests that often include sleep physician interpretations.

    Because the data is compressible and easily transferable, sleep studies may be sent from a sleep center or laboratory to a sleep tech in a different part of the world. The sleep study data is sent and reviewed by a sleep technologist and a sleep doctor. They are usually contracted for outsource sleep center services.

    Do Chin Straps Work For Sleep Apnea

    While the media is often quick to jump on reports of medical devices that treat sleep disorders and report them as a success, chin straps are not a quick fix for obstructive sleep apnea.

    Companies that sell these products also have a tendency to exaggerate study findings in an effort to sell their product. What does the research really say?

    The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine published a study in 2007 that showed one patient experienced relief from sleep apnea when wearing a chin strap.

    Several studies subsequent to this showed that several patients with sleep apnea were unable to tolerate the positive airway pressure that occurred while wearing a chin strap. There are also many reports from people trying chin straps as a solution for snoring, who have rendered the treatment unsuccessful.

    A more recent study in 2014, also from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, included a report regarding the use of chin straps as a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. There was no improvement in any measures of sleep apnea or snoring in 26 patients.

    Other sleep components were looked at as well, including the amount of REM sleep or sleep position changes. Unfortunately, the results showed no improvements with a chin strap in any of these conditions.

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