If you have been suffering from sleeping problems for weeks, months, or even years, the first step in finding a solution is to get a proper diagnosis. This will usually involve a sleep apnea test, which is a medical test in which your vital signs (such as blood pressure, brainwaves, and breathing patterns) are monitored while you sleep. In the past, this usually meant that you would need to spend a night in a lab while hooked up to various machinery. If this doesn’t sound like the most restful environment in the world, you’re not alone! Thankfully, Dr. Brian Zulawinski can help you start getting the treatment you need from the comfort of your own bed using a home sleep study. If you’d like to have a home sleep study performed or have any questions, please contact our office today. It could be the first step to helping you finally get a full night’s rest!
Oftentimes, the symptoms associated with sleep apnea can be difficult to pinpoint, especially if some of the most prominent signs occur while you’re asleep. If you have a partner who can tell you if you snore loudly or stop breathing at any point throughout the night, you have an advantage. The other difficult part of diagnosing sleep apnea is that many of its symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed for another condition.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, alert your dentist or sleep doctor immediately:
When it comes to receiving an official diagnosis, there are two ways it can be achieved: at home or onsite. A sleep study that occurs onsite will require that you spend time talking with the technician about the process before spending close to 45 minutes getting hooked up to the various pieces of equipment. Then, in order for it to be effective, the machine must be able to register at least 6 hours of sleep time to receive an accurate recording.
However, at at-home sleep test is much easier to manage. Using a small device, you will put it on before bed and wear it throughout the night. It will monitor your sleep pattern, and you’ll be expected to return the device to the doctor’s office the next day. This will allow them to review the findings.
If you’re worried one method is more effective at obtaining accurate readings than the other, don’t be. Both measure how many times you cease breathing and create a report known as an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). This determines how severe your sleep apnea is with the average being a 5 or less. Individuals with an AHI of 5 to 15 have mild sleep apnea, and those with a 15 to 30 AHI have moderate sleep apnea. The most severe cases show an AHI over more than 30.
If you exhibit any of the symptoms in the above-mentioned list, we encourage you to contact our office. Dr. Zulawinski will be happy to discuss your situation to determine if an at-home sleep test is right for you. Should he believe you would benefit from this type of test, you’ll be provided a small device to wear overnight. After careful research, we have chosen what we believe to be the most accurate and comfortable home sleep study device on the market, the WatchPAT from Itamar Medical. The device simply wraps around your wrist and index finger, and it will be able to provide us with vital information without disturbing your sleep.
Once we receive it back in the office the next day, he will go over the findings. If it is found that you do, indeed, have sleep apnea, Dr. Zulawinski and his team will work with you to determine which method of sleep apnea treatment is best.