Fortunately, for people who have indications that they may be suffering from OSA, there is a simple way to find out via a sleep study. In recent years, sleep testing has come a long way—in years past, the only option available to patients was to visit a sleep lab and stay overnight. While that’s still a good option for sleep apnea diagnosis, patients now have the ability to take the test in the comfort of their own home with the appropriate monitoring equipment. The patient is given a home sleep testing (HST) device that can collect diagnostic data while they sleep. This information is then downloaded and analyzed by a sleep professional and interpreted by a board-certified sleep physician.
One of the primary things a sleep study is monitoring is how often a patient experiences a hypopnea, which is restricted breathing, and apnea, a total stoppage of breath. In cases of severe sleep apnea, for
example, a person will experience stopped and/or restricted breathing 30 times or more per hour! Both of these events can result in a dangerous drop in the blood oxygen level, leading to many of the health problems associated with sleep apnea. Once the sleep study is conducted and interpreted, the sleep physician can determine the severity of the patient’s apnea and recommend appropriate treatment.
Dr. Nathanson can offer patients a home sleep study to help determine if they are suffering from OSA and identify the level of apnea severity. Please contact us today for more information.