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.
Sleep Apnea Statistics By Age & Gender
There is really no way to identify who is or is not at risk for OSA based on age or gender. 26% of adults aged 30-70 years have obstructive sleep apnea . And this includes children, adults, the elderly, men, and women. About 20% of children snore, but 1-4% of children aged between 2-8 suffer from obstructive sleep apnea .
While OSA impacts all genders equally, sleep-disordered breathing affect 23.4% of women and 49.7% of men . Which is a male-to-female ratio of 2 to 3:1 .Men are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, but only by a small margin.
Sleep Apnea: Screening Testing And Treatment
Sleep apnea is a serious condition where your airway repeatedly closes during sleep, depriving you of oxygen until you gasp awake.
The combined effects of disturbed sleep and repeated bouts of low oxygen cause lots of problems for your physical and mental health. Despite this, many sufferers remain undiagnosed.
But how do you get diagnosed?
There are several steps towards understanding and addressing sleep apnea:
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What Are The Symptoms
The main symptoms of sleep apnea that you may notice are:
- Not feeling rested after a night’s sleep.
- Feeling sleepy during the day.
- Waking up with a headache.
Your bed partner may notice that while you sleep:
- You stop breathing.
If you have sleep apnea, you also may not be sleeping as well as you could. If you feel sleepy during the day and it gets in the way of the normal things you do , it’s important to talk to your doctor. Be safe. Do not drive while you are drowsy.
The Questionnaire Has An Even Higher Predictive Value When You Answer Four More Questions:
- B: Is your Body Mass Index more than 35 kg/m2?
- A: Is your age more than 50 years old?
- N: Is your neck circumference greater than 40 cm?
- G: Is your gender male?
You have a high risk of sleep apnea if you answered “yes” to three or more of the eight STOP-BANG questions. You are strongly encouraged to discuss these results with your medical provider. To find a sleep center in your area, please visit .
There is now evidence that football players are a especially high risk for sleep apnea, particularly those who play offensive and defensive line positions. Learn more about sleep apnea in football players at .
Learn more about what to expect from a sleep evaluation.
MyApnea.Org, a patient-centered research resource, has been created to engage and inform at-risk and existing sleep apnea patients. Visit to read more about this effort and to contribute to important research efforts that aim to better the lives of patients living with sleep apnea.
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How To Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that needs to be treated. Your medical provider or a sleep doctor can help you select a treatment plan that is right for you. Depending on the treatment, she may work in collaboration with other members of the sleep team, including dentists, psychologists, physician assistants, nurses and technologists. Your plan may include any combination of these treatments:
Sleep Apnea Test: 2 Types What To Expect & Treatment
Sleep apnea isnt just robbing you of a good nights sleep. It can contribute to serious medical conditions, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea also affects your dental health, causing cavities and periodontal disease, among other issues.
Because sleep apnea has such severe side effects, its imperative to catch and diagnose it early. The only way to get a verified diagnosis is to take a sleep apnea test. Here, youll learn about the different types of sleep apnea tests and what happens after youre diagnosed.
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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Adults
MICHAEL SEMELKA, DO JONATHAN WILSON, MD and RYAN FLOYD, MD, Excela Health Latrobe Hospital, Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Am Fam Physician. 2016 Sep 1 94:355-360.
Patient information: See related handout on obstructive sleep apnea, written by the authors of this article.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common, chronic disorder that disrupts breathing during sleep. It affects persons of all ages but especially those middle-aged and older.1 Patients with OSA temporarily stop or decrease their breathing repeatedly during sleep.25 This cessation or decrease in breathing is the result of repetitive partial or complete obstruction of the airway caused by narrowing of the respiratory passages.4,68 These breathing disruptions can awaken a person or prevent deep, restful sleep. The effects of fragmented sleep on daytime fatigue and sleepiness are widely recognized.3,6
WHAT IS NEW ON THIS TOPIC: OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
In patients with obstructive sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure lowers blood pressure and rates of arrhythmia and stroke, improves left ventricular ejection fraction in patients with heart failure, and reduces fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events.
A recent meta-analysis demonstrated similar rates of blood pressure lowering between continuous positive airway pressure and mandibular advancement devices.
BEST PRACTICES IN SLEEP MEDICINE: RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE CHOOSING WISELY CAMPAIGN
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
What To Tell Your Primary Care Doctor If You Suspect 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.
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Benefits And Drawbacks Of At
Like the in-lab sleep studies, there are pros and cons to having an at-home sleep apnea test.
The benefits of testing for sleep apnea at home are:
- A simpler test using less equipment
- A lower cost: testing at home is often 3-5 times less expensive than in-lab tests
- An easier time falling asleep: you can be at home in your own bed for this test
The drawbacks of at-home testing include:
- A higher possibility of inconclusive results, which means youll have to go get an in-lab polysomnogram anyway
- Less data collected than a traditional in-lab test
- More difficulty diagnosing certain types of sleep apnea, particularly central sleep apnea
Will Insurance Pay For Home Sleep Apnea Studies
Many insurance companies cover at least a portion of a home sleep apnea study. With Medicare, you pay 20% of the cost of the sleep study after meeting your Part B deductible. If your doctor refers you for a sleep study, be sure to consult your insurance provider for the most accurate information regarding your coverage.
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Cost Of Sleep Apnea Test Without Insurance
The difference between insurance coverage and self-pay varies. If you are uninsured, there are many some sleep test providers who will accept out of pocket payments for both the sleep apnea test as well as the necessary medical therapies if you should receive an apnea diagnosis.
As opposed to at-home sleep tests, in-lab sleep studies can run between $1000 and $3000, which is why they are not always recommended for those who believe they are a likely sufferer of sleep apnea as opposed to more complex sleep disorders.
While insurance might be the more familiar option, that doesnt mean it is the best option. By going the self-pay route, you are putting yourself in control of your health and wellness decisions. With ApneaMed, you can ensure you are getting step-by-step support and getting the testing and treatment you need without insurance interference.
What Is A Respiratory Limited Sleep Study
This overnight test can be done in hospital or at home. It measures your air flow, how your chest moves as you breathe, your heart rate and the oxygen level in your blood. Some devices register snoring sounds, body position and leg movements. Equipment will be attached to you with tape, wires and straps as you sleep.
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Bmi For Adults Widget
The STOP-BANG survey below is a self-evaluation you can take to assess the chances of having sleep apnea. However, to get a proper diagnosis, you must see a healthcare practitionereither a primary care physician/clinician or a sleep specialist. He or she will obtain additional information and determine whether there are alternative explanations for your symptoms. Your doctor will decide whether further evaluation is necessary. Sometimes excessive daytime sleepiness is simply related to insufficient sleep. If it seems likely that you have OSA, then additional diagnostic testing will be required.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea At Home
Getting a sleep apnea diagnosis does not need to be a stressful experience. You should always make regular visits to your doctor, but, if they want you to get tested for sleep apnea, they will just refer you to a sleep lab or a home sleep test provider. Rather than jumping through costly, drawn-out hoops, you are able to diagnose your sleep apnea at home with a home sleep testing kit.
Most at-home sleep testing kits do not even required a referral. You can take our patient questionnaire to see if you are a good candidate for sleep testing, and receive your kit in as few as 2-3 business days. Dont wait because your home sleep testing kit is the first step to a better nights sleep and a better quality of life.
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Who Should Get Testing
Sleep apnea testing is typically performed as part of the diagnostic process in people who have symptoms that are consistent with a possible sleep-related breathing disorder. The primary symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness that occurs on most days
- Frequent loud snoring
- Choking or gasping during sleep
Testing is often more likely to be recommended when a person has other risk factors for OSA such as obesity or high blood pressure. Testing for OSA is also a part of the diagnostic process for a number of other disorders that can cause significant daytime drowsiness.
Sleep apnea testing is not widely used for screening, which is testing in people who do not have symptoms of the condition. To date, there is a lack of evidence about whether the benefits of sleep apnea screening are greater than its potential risks, such as unnecessary tests or treatments.
Although people who are at a higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea may be asked questions during medical checkups about their sleep habits, more thorough sleep apnea testing is usually reserved for people who have symptoms.
What Do The Results Mean
Once those results are interpreted properly and a diagnosis has been given, a patient care representative will call you to discuss your results and treatment options, if applicable. This process can take between 10-14 business days.
Your sleep test results will cover a variety of data. A few of these vitals will be sleep efficiency, the apnea hypopnea index , the oxygen saturation index , and heart rate.
Sleep efficiency is a term for the number of minutes you spend asleep divided by the total sleep recording period. If you have high sleep efficiency, you are spending more time asleep than you are spending awake.
Apnea Hypopnea Index
Also called AHI, the Apnea Hypopnea Index is the average number of times you experience an apnea or hypopnea per hour of sleep. An apnea is a complete obstruction of your airway for more than 10 seconds whereas a hypopnea is only a partial obstruction of the airway. Most people suffer from an average of 0-5 events per hour. An AHI above 5 is considered abnormal and may lead to a sleep apnea diagnosis.
Oxygen Desaturation Index
This represents the number of times your oxygen levels drop during time spent asleep. This measurement is typically used to examine or diagnose sleep disordered breathing. For reference, oxygen levels are generally expected to stay above or around 90%.
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Sleep Apnea Is A Common Sleep Disorder Thats Treatable
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, when normal breathing resumes, this can sometimes begin with a loud snort or choking sound.
Your breathing is affected most often when the muscles that control the upper airway relax too much during sleep. If they relax too much, the upper airway narrows and you may begin to snore. If the airway narrows even further it may become completely blocked and you temporarily stop breathing. This obstructive apnea can last for ten seconds or more, it may happen frequently and even several hundred times a night. If this sounds familiar, you may have sleep apnea. Take our Online Sleep Assessment.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea OSA is the most common, central sleep apnea and mixed sleep apnea or treatment-onset central sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea symptoms
- Gasping / interrupted breathing while asleep
How can sleep apnea affect your health?
Every time an apnea occurs, your body increases its effort to breathe and your vital organs struggle for oxygen. This alerts your brain to wake up and make you breathe again. This can lead to experiencing the kind of tiredness that affects your quality of life, work and relationships. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
Family members or bed partners often pick up on the signs of sleep apnea first. Many people with sleep apnea don’t know they’re snoring and gasping for breath at night. If you have any of the following signs, see your doctor:
- daytime sleepiness
- loud snoring followed by silent pauses
- gasping or choking during sleep
- morning headache
- poor concentration or memory loss
- lowered sex drive
Snoring by itself doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea. It is true that loud snoring is common in people with this disorder, but there’s a big difference between simple snoring and sleep apnea.
Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health problems. If it’s not treated, sleep apnea can lead to:
- high blood pressure
- work-related injuries
Reaching A Diagnosis Of Osa
Your doctor will diagnose you with OSA if the results of your assessment are clear.
If they arent, you may be asked to do more tests or to try a treatment called CPAP. If CPAP helps, OSA is the most likely cause of your symptoms.
Your doctor will want to see how severe your OSA is to find the best treatment for you. You may be told your OSA is mild, moderate or severe, depending on how many times you stop breathing in the night and your symptoms during the day. Once youve been diagnosed with OSA, it can be a relief. You now know why youve been so sleepy.
Diagnostic Tools Used By Otolaryngologists To Determine Osa
Otolaryngologists specializing in sleep apnea treatment often perform diagnostic exams to better evaluate your airway:
Fiberoptic Nasolaryngoscopy – this diagnostic tool is a standard part of the initial office visit and is an office based scope exam. Nasalaryngoscopy is performed with a mild topical anesthesia and generally takes less than five minutes to perform. After a short acting topical numbing spray is given through the nose, a small fiberoptic camera is placed to follow the passage of air from the nose into the throat. The nose is evaluated for nasal obstruction, a deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, sinus disease, and allergies that can cause significant nasal airway narrowing. The palate and throat are examined next. Any signs of abnormal tissue or enlargement of the tonsils or tongue are visualized and the aperture of the airway is recorded. The voice box and entryway into the windpipe are also observed while masses and lesions of the nose and throat are carefully ruled out.
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How To Tell If You Have Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a tricky conditionthe main symptoms often happen when you arent awake to notice them. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and is associated with long-term health complications, so its important to get an accurate diagnosis if you want to start sleeping easier.
Some patients only find out they have sleep apnea after a bed partner tells them about snoring or disrupted breathing at night, or after having an overnight sleep study done in a hospital or sleep center.
But how do you tell if you have sleep apnea if you live alone or if you dont want to participate in a sleep study? Lets discuss the different ways doctors diagnose this conditionand talk about how your dentist can help during treatment.