Snoring may be the first sign of sleep apnea, but it does not always mean you have it. To help in the diagnosis of sleep apnea, your doctor may make an evaluation based on your signs and symptoms. You may also be referred to a sleep disorder center for proper diagnosis. A sleep specialist will work with you to decide if further evaluation is needed—this often involves overnight monitoring of your breathing and other body functions while you are sleeping. With advancements in technology, home testing continues to gain popularity because of its ease for patients, as well as being less expensive.
Test for Diagnosis
In order to detect sleep apnea, there is an array of tests that might be recommended for you. Let’s take a look a couple diagnosis and testing options for sleep apnea:
Nocturnal Polyscomnography – With this test, you will be hooked up to equipment that monitors your heart, lungs and brain activity, breathing patterns, arm and leg movements, and blood oxygen levels while you sleep. Through these tests your doctor and determine if you are suffering from sleep apnea.
Home Sleep Tests – Your doctor may also provide you with simplified tests 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 are suffering from sleep apnea the rest results will show drops in your oxygen level during apneas and subsequent rises with awakenings.
Get a diagnosis
If you have sleep apnea, or we suspect you do, we will refer you to a sleep center to get you diagnosed. A diagnosis is necessary before we can treat you.