If you’re experiencing sleep difficulties or poor quality sleep that is not restful, you need to get screened and if indicated by the screening, you should be tested.
The first step is screening. Some screening tests are subjective questionnaires to determine levels of sleepiness or risk of having sleep apnea. Other screening methods include home sleep tests and overnight Pulse-Oximetry.
If you screen positive for being at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, the next step is a sleep study. A sleep study allows the physician to make a definitive diagnosis and whether or not you are a candidate for therapy. A definitive diagnosis of sleep apnea can be made only with a sleep study conducted during a visit to a sleep lab, usually overnight, or a home study performed with special equipment.
“I feel better with using the appliance. As soon as I put it in my mouth I felt my airway open.”
– Carolyn DelVecchio
Two Sleep Study Options
In Lab-Polysomnography (PSG)
Polysomnography (PSG) is the most comprehensive test for sleep apnea. This test takes place in a sleep lab overnight. This test records electrical activity of your brain, eye movement, muscle activity, heart rate, and breathing, airflow through your nose and mouth, and blood oxygen levels. Polysomnography also records electrical brain waves (EEG) which determines sleep staging, i.e. light sleep, deep sleep, and rapid eye movement (REM-dreaming) sleep.
Home Sleep Tests (HST)
Home Sleep Tests (HST) is an alternative to an in-lab Polysomnography where the patient can self-administer the sleep test. The Patient is able to spend the night in their own bed in familiar surroundings. Home sleep studies can be especially advantageous to the home-bound, elderly, and those with chronic illness. It is also beneficial for those with trouble arranging time out of their schedule to spend the night at a lab. The Home Sleep Test typically yields similar results to a Polyspmnograph. The diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea is covered by most insurance plans.
A definitive diagnosis of sleep apnea requires a sleep study. A sleep study monitors and records what happens to your body during sleep.
The diagnostic devices used for screening for sleep apnea and many other serious sleep disorders are easy to use, highly accurate, and covered by medical insurance. If you believe you’re experiencing a sleep related illness, there is a very good chance that you are. Talk to your physician about your symptoms.
If you need a physician referral or some other type of guidance to determine if you have sleep apnea, call the Chase team. We’re here to help.
Sleep Deprivation vs. Sleep Disorder
A sleep disorder can aggravate sleep deprivation and vice versa but they are not inherently the same. What’s the difference between a sleep disorder and sleep deprivation? Sleep deprivation is when someone is sleepy and has not slept because they chose not to sleep or could not find the opportunity to do so. The point is, they could enjoy healthful sleep if given the chance.
Someone with a sleep disorder cannot experience healthful sleep even when they allow time for sleep. Some sleep disorders like sleep apnea don’t permit healthful, restful sleep even though the person “falls asleep”.