Sleep Apnea Test at Home: Procedure and Results
For most people, the thought of spending a night in a sleep clinic or a hospital can be rather unnerving. And, in response, many doctors are having people take a sleep apnea test at home, instead of in a medical setting. There are numerous advantages to this method, and of course, a couple of disadvantages.
On the positive side however, taking a sleep apnea test at home is less expensive, and less intrusive into your time and schedule. In addition, you are more likely to get an actual night’s sleep like you normally experience, not one that’s different because you’re in a new environment. There are many types of home tests designed to help diagnose and identify your sleep problems and help find the sleep apnea cure that is right for you.
Your doctor, or a sleep clinic, can send you home with various types of sleep apnea devices that you can easily use at home while you are asleep. For instance, you will likely be given a Thermistor, which is used to monitor airflow, along with a pulse oximeter, a tool that monitors blood oxygen. Sleeping while connected will record very valuable data that can then be given to the requesting physician after the sleep apnea test equipment is returned the next day. While these various types of home tests are much less expensive and avoid trips to doctor’s offices and sleep clinics which can be inconvenient, there are some down sides to them as well. For instance, not all cases of sleep apnea will be identified with home tests and, it’s quite possible that inconclusive results will mean that you will have to have a traditional sleep apnea test at a sleep clinic or equivalent. However, if there is evidence of sleep apnea, this is the time that your doctor will try to evaluate the cause. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, for instance, you may be referred to another doctor, such as an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, for further evaluation. However if there is no obvious physical cause of your sleep apnea side effects, then it’s likely that your doctor will begin exploring other sleep apnea treatment options with you including overnight devices and even possible surgery.
You will find that it’s not entirely impossible to buy your own sleep apnea test online. While many of them will use the same criteria as devices provided by your physician, the real problem with using these types of sleep apnea test lie in the interpretation. Compiling and inferring all of the intricate pieces of data recorded while you are sleeping and translating it into understandable language that is relevant to your sleeping patterns is something that a doctor needs to be involved in. As such, while being afforded the convenience of at home sleep apnea testing can be a major benefit, results such as breathing irregularities and oxygen saturation need to be analyzed by a health care provider. Remember as well that you may not achieve proper diagnosis with testing at home, and that in order to fully understand your condition; you may have no choice but to be professionally evaluated while sleeping.