Can I Do A Sleep Apnea Test At Home?

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testing for sleep apnea at home

You are not alone if you suspect you have sleep apnea. Nearly 25 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Yet getting a proper diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea is easy and can be done at home.

Knowing the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Before considering a home sleep test, you should watch out for common warning signs of sleep apnea. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it may be time to get tested.

  • Loud snoring
  • Wake up gasping or choking for air
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Morning headaches
  • Moodiness, forgetfulness, or difficulty concentrating

What is a Sleep Apnea Test?

Sleep apnea test determines if you have sleep apnea. The test monitors patterns of breathing while you sleep. Traditionally, sleep apnea tests were conducted in a lab in which the patient sleeps overnight, and is observed by technicians and sleep monitoring equipment. Now, a self-test like the one sold by Sleep Care Online lets you receive a diagnosis in the comfort of your own home.

Types of Sleep Apnea Tests

If you or your doctor thinks you might have sleep apnea, you can take either polysomnography (in-lab test) or an at-home test.

Polysomnography (In-lab Sleep Study)

Polysomnography records your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate, and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements during an overnight stay in a lab. Sleep doctors analyze the results of the test and make a diagnosis.

Sleep Apnea Self Test (Home Sleep Apnea Test)

The home sleep apnea test provides results without an overnight stay in a lab. The home test is mailed to your home. You follow the instructions for setup, like first taping it to your finger before bed and turning on the app before you fall asleep. Choose a night to take the test and submit the results for analysis. The next morning, your study data is ready for review.  Sleep doctors will speak with you to discuss the results and possible treatment if necessary.

Why Should You Take a Sleep Apnea Test at Home?

Most patients prefer a home sleep test because it can be completed in the comfort of their own bed. Sleep centers can be unfamiliar environments that may not provide a comfortable sleep, affecting your results.

Home sleep study tests can be taken at your own convenience rather than scheduling appointments at a sleep center. Home sleep study tests are also more affordable, costing ¼ less than on-site sleep center tests. Up to 75% of all patients suspected of suffering from moderate to severe sleep apnea can be diagnosed via a home sleep test.

What Do At-Home Sleep Apnea Tests Measure?

  • Respiratory effort: This is defined as how well you breathe in and out while sleeping. With some at-home tests, you may have to wear something on your chest that will record how your chest rises and falls with every breath.
  • Airflow: Airflow is measured by the flow of air into and out of your nose. Some tests may require you to wear a nasal cannula.
  • Snoring: Typically, through the use of a chest sensor, some tests can detect snoring.
  • Oxygen saturation: A device known as a pulse oximeter, placed usually on your index finger, measures how much oxygen is in your blood.
  • Heart rate: The pulse oximeter you wear on your finger typically also measures your heart rate.
  • Body position and movement: Some test devices include sensors that can detect your body position and movement as you sleep.
  • Peripheral arterial tone (PAT): PAT measures abnormal breathing events. This alternative method to track breathing doesn’t require a chest band/sensor or nasal cannula.

The Advantages of a Self-Test for Sleep Apnea

There are many benefits to choosing a self-test over an in-lab study. Comfort, accessibility, affordability, and convenience are just a few of them that stand out amongst at-home test users. Sleep Care Online offers a simple, safe, and affordable way to get tested for sleep disorders from the comfort of your home.

The Advantages of a Self-Test for Sleep Apnea

Comfortable – Sleep Apnea Self-Test

Because you are taking the test at home you are more comfortable and therefore are more likely to get results that represent your typical sleep behavior.

Affordable – Self-Test for Sleep Apnea

Home sleep apnea tests cost much less than in-lab studies as they do not require a facility or the support of technicians overnight. Sleep Care Online offers their home sleep test for $219.

Convenient – Sleep Apnea Self-Assessment Test

You can take your home sleep study on your own time. Rather than trying to book appointments at a sleep lab, you simply choose a good time to take the test at home.

Faster Results – Sleep Apnea Self-Test

Your results are ready the next morning after your test. They are then automatically sent electronically through the cloud. And because your consultation is conducted by a telehealth visit, you can get results faster than an in-lab study.

How Does An At Home Sleep Apnea Test Work?

At Sleep Care Online, you can get a simple and convenient home sleep test to determine if you have sleep apnea. Here is how it works:

  1. With the Complete Care Package, schedule a 10-minute telehealth visit with a healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms, upcoming sleep study, test results, and treatment options.
  2. A multi-night, disposable home sleep apnea test is mailed to your home to be completed at your convenience.
  3. A physician analyzes the sleep data and provides a prescription if needed.
  4. Schedule an optional follow-up appointment (additional fee applies).
  5. We connect you to sleep experts who can offer customized sleep therapy options, assistance in equipment purchase, and initial set-up.

Understanding Sleep Apnea Test Results

Sleep apnea tests do not actually monitor sleep. Rather they analyze breathing patterns while you sleep. Sleep apnea causes disruptions in your airway while sleeping, which is the first indicator of sleep disorder. During your follow-up consultation, a sleep doctor will show you if your breathing stops intermittently at night and how often.

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Treatment for Sleep Apnea

If diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may begin CPAP therapy using a CPAP machine based on the recommendation of your sleep doctor. CPAP machines help keep the airway open while you sleep to eliminate breathing disruptions. You can find CPAP machines, masks, and accessories at The CPAP Shop.

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