Millions of people suffer with sleep disorders like sleep apnea, but many of them go undiagnosed. Since sleep disorders are diagnosed through sleep studies, spending the night under observation in a lab was once the only way to diagnose sleep apnea. Today, advanced technology has made it possible for sleep studies to be administered from the comfort of home using a portable home sleet test device.
Also known as an unattended sleep study, this test monitors a patient’s respiration and blood oxygen levels during sleep. During the test, patients acquire home sleep test equipment from their doctor and applies the sensors at night before falling asleep. It monitors airflow through bot the mouth and the nose, and it also records the physical effort used to breathe during the night. A small oximeter finger probe keeps track of blood oxygen levels while sleeping.
The home sleep test is not painful, and most patients do not find it uncomfortable. It may be used for up to 3 nights, although it is usually possible to collect adequate sleep information after only 1 or 2 nights. At the conclusion of the study, the equipment is returned for diagnostic evaluation. The information provided helps Dr. Hammad determine whether treatment is appropriate or if further testing might be necessary.
Home sleep studies are typically recommended for patients who have risk factors or symptoms for obstructive sleep apnea. Patients may be allowed to undergo an at-home test if they are suspected of having sleep apnea with no serious coexisting conditions like congestive heart failure or pulmonary disease. In those cases, a formal sleep study might be necessary to obtain more comprehensive information about the patient.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
Sleep apnea may seem like a harmless condition, but it is very important to diagnose and treat it as soon as possible. When people stop breathing during sleep – even for just a few moments – it results in lower blood oxygen levels. Over time, this can have severe effects on your health and quality of sleep. Sleep apnea has also been associated with other serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
If you think you may be suffering from a sleep disorder, contact our office to schedule a consultation and find out if a home sleep study might be right for you.