If your dentist or physician suspects you have sleep apnea, you’ll be relieved to know you don’t need to stay the night at an unfamiliar facility to get a diagnosis. Instead, you can benefit from an at-home sleep apnea test. Here’s what you can expect during the night.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
The most common form of sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction. The soft tissues in the back of the mouth relax while sleeping, causing them to collapse to block the airway. Besides loud, chronic snoring, this also causes you to stop breathing frequently throughout the night. The repeated depletion of oxygen will significantly affect your general health and quality of life without the right care.
An overnight sleep study is used to capture the data necessary to determine if sleep apnea is present. Although it is typically done at a sleep lab, technological advancements now allow testing to be performed at home. The small, portable device will track more than just your sleep quality.
How At-Home Sleep Apnea Tests Work
You’ll be given a small device to wear while you’re sleeping. It captures key information, including:
- Breathing: It measures your breathing parameters. It won’t focus on how long you’re in light or deep sleep. Instead, it’s designed to detect pauses in breathing or whether it’s shallow.
- Oxygen Levels: A small sensor that’s worn over your finger will measure your oxygen levels. A mask with tubes into the nostrils can also be used. In some cases, sensors can also be placed on your abdomen and chest to measure the rise and fall as you inhale and exhale.
- Other Sleep Issues: The feedback from the device can indicate an issue other than sleep apnea, like nighttime restlessness or narcolepsy.
Overall, an at-home sleep test is an affordable and convenient alternative to staying at a sleep center.
Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If your sleep study has confirmed that you have a disorder, an effective treatment plan will be created using sleep apnea therapy, which can include:
- CPAP: A special machine delivers a steady stream of air pressure through a mask worn over the nose to keep the airway open to stop pauses in breathing.
- Oral Appliance: An oral appliance repositions the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open. It can be used alone or along with a CPAP.
Don’t lose sleep at night from untreated sleep apnea. Find out if you’re a candidate for an at-home sleep test today.
About Dr. Kenneth Remmers
Dr. Remmers has over 50 years of experience in dentistry. Besides creating healthy, beautiful smiles, he also offers advanced services, like sleep apnea therapy. He remains up to date with the latest treatments and techniques. If your results from your sleep test show you need sleep apnea treatment, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.