Most People Benefit from At-Home Sleep Apnea Test

Nov 26, 2014, by Dr. Becky Coats

The biggest problem with treating sleep apnea is that so many people don’t know they have it. The majority of sleep apnea remains undiagnosed, perhaps because people don’t want to get a sleep test at a lab. Going to the lab for a test is inconvenient. Plus, most don’t like the thought of sleeping in public where they will be watched by virtual strangers. And nobody likes the thought of the expense of a sleep test.

But this doesn’t have to be an obstacle, because most people (perhaps 70-80% of sleep apnea sufferers) can take a simple at-home test for sleep apnea.

How You Do an At-Home Test

At Home Sleep TestTo start an at-home sleep apnea test, you first have to talk to your doctor or a sleep physician. If your insurance is going to cover the cost of the test, they’ll let you know who has to monitor and evaluate the test for it to be considered valid.

Then you have to sleep while wearing the sleep test. What this means depends on the type of at-home sleep test you take. At a minimum, sleep tests typically measure air flow and blood oxygenation. Breathing effort and other aspects of your sleep may also be monitored. You’ll have a set of tubes that go in your nostrils, and some device that monitors your blood oxygen. The central unity, which fits on your head or chest, may combined with other instruments. Sometimes other sensors may be placed elsewhere on your body.

You wear the device while you’re sleeping, and it will collect all the necessary data. In the morning, what you do depends on the type of test and how it’s evaluated. You may hook it up to your computer and upload data. You may take it to your doctor’s office. You may just drop the unit in the mail.

Who Is a Good Candidate for At-Home Sleep Apnea Testing

At-home sleep apnea tests are recommended for people who likely have sleep apnea and no other sleep disorders. If you have another sleep disorder or suspect you might have another sleep disorder, you probably won’t be allowed to take an at-home test. Some medical conditions can also interfere with the accuracy of the test, and your doctor might recommend a lab test instead.

An at-home sleep apnea test is the right choice for people who just can’t make it to a sleep lab. In this case, it’s best to get at-home testing rather than to miss it. The at-home test might be recommended if you have tried but weren’t able to get proper testing at a sleep lab because you just couldn’t sleep in the unfamiliar setting.

At-home sleep apnea tests are also used to monitor the effectiveness of oral appliance therapy.

If you want to learn whether you can be tested for sleep apnea treatment in Dallas, please call (817) 481-6888 for an appointment at Grapevine Dental Care.