In the past, getting a diagnosis for sleep apnea required multiple visits to specialists, and spending nights in a lab or clinic. However, with advancements in technology, diagnosing this ailment has become much more comfortable and convenient for those who wish to improve their sleep quality and lives.
Different Methods for Testing Sleep Apnea
Diagnosing sleep apnea through testing is important as this ailment can contribute to long-term health effects if left untreated. Sleep apnea tests can be conducted through several methods including at-home tests or receiving a test at a reputable sleep clinic. Depending on where you live or where you are most comfortable being tested for sleep apnea, you may want to consider opting for one of the following options to diagnose your sleep disorder:
Conducting a Sleep Apnea Test at Home
Step 1: Visit your doctor.
At-home testing is one of the most convenient methods for diagnosing sleep apnea as many people do not feel comfortable falling asleep in a clinic. To receive an at-home test, it is recommended to first speak with your doctor about your concerns with your sleeping troubles and have them assess your condition to rule out other potential illnesses that might be causing your lack of proper rest. You may then let your doctor know that you would like to conduct an at-home test for sleep apnea and request that they sign a prescription request form for your test also known as a cardio-respiratory sleep polygraphy (CRSP), the at-home sleep apnea test.
Step 2: Make an appointment with a sleep apnea test provider. Mostly known a sleep clinic.
Once a prescription has been written, the next step is to make an appointment with a sleep clinic that provides at-home sleep apnea tests. The respiratory therapist will prepare you with a cardio-respiratory sleep polygraphy (CRSP) monitor and supply you with the instructions to conduct your at-home test.
Step 3: Taking the test and getting the results.
Once you have been given the CRSP monitor and are clear on how to use it, you will sleep with it for as little as one night. After using the monitor, you will return it to the provider who will have the sleep specialist interpret your results and determine whether your sleep condition is in fact sleep apnea. A copy of the results will be sent to your referring physician. If a sleep apnea diagnosis is confirmed, a respiratory therapist can help you take the next steps in treating your condition.
Conducting a Sleep Apnea Test at a Clinic
Step 1: Visit your doctor.
If you are experiencing sleep apnea symptoms or other sleeping troubles, it is highly recommended that you visit your doctor to get a professional opinion. Depending on your situation and the severity of symptoms, your doctor, if he suspects sleep apnea, may order a CRSP test where you will be required to spend the night in a clinic or at home to monitor your breathing and other bodily functions during sleep.
Step 2: Book an appointment to conduct your test.
These sleep tests can be booked at a certified sleep clinic or other medical facilities in your area. Your doctor should be able to refer you to a great clinic or facility to conduct your sleep apnea test.
Step 3: Visit a sleep clinic or medical Center to conduct your sleep test.
Unlike at-home tests, nocturnal polysomnography tests can be conducted in a facility with more equipment. Often these tests are for the purpose of investigating other sleep disorder beside sleep apnea under the supervision of a sleep technologist and requires a more complicated wires and sensors setup. These tests are painless and often take only one night to complete. Once tests are completed, the medical professionals who interpret your results will determine whether you have sleep apnea or other sleep disorder problem and will provide you with the next steps to take in treating it.
Overcoming Your Sleep Apnea Disorder
If it is determined that you have sleep apnea, the clinic sleep specialist will advise you on the treatment that is right for you. In many cases, a CPAP device which assist your breathing when asleep to make your sleep more restful and treat the sleep disorder, and in other cases, alternative treatments may be used.
Respiratory specialists and a sleep specialist will likely continue to follow up with your sleep apnea’s progress and adjust your treatment where necessary. To improve your sleep and overall quality of life, it is important that you take the steps mentioned above and begin treating your sleep apnea through the help of these specialists.