Diagnosing

High-tech Methods of Sleep Apnea Diagnosis


Video: In-Home Diagnostic Sleep Testing

 
 
 

SleepQuest offers comfortable and easy to use wireless devices that are worn overnight as part of the sleep test. Our board certified sleep physicians interpret the study. The results will be sent back quickly to the referring physician with recommended next steps to get you on the road to better health.

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High-tech Methods of Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

There are several methods used by SleepQuest to diagnose sleep apnea. If you are in need of sleep apnea diagnosis, one of our San Francisco Bay Area based offices can help. An overnight diagnostic sleep study is used to definitively diagnose sleep apnea. A sleep study is also necessary in order to provide documentation to a health insurance company of a medical condition that requires treatment.

This study is painless, non-invasive, and measures a number of physiological changes while you sleep. A medical device records the number of sleep disordered breathing events that occur during the night. The total number of events, known as "apneas" and/or "hypopneas", determines the severity of the apnea. These together make up the AHI (Apnea/Hypopnea Index). In addition to the AHI, Respiratory Effort Related Arousals (RERA’s) measure the number of sub-conscience arousals that occur throughout the night. The Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI) is defined as the AHI plus the number of RERA’s. These indexes are calculated as the number that occur per hour of sleep and along with other measurements are what determine the severity level of a person’s sleep apnea. All of this information can be accurately measured from a home sleep testing device worn by a patient in their own home.

More Information about Sleep Apnea Diagnosis with SleepQuest

SleepQuest offers comfortable and easy to use wireless devices that are worn overnight as part of the sleep test. Our board certified sleep physicians interpret the study within 24 to 48 hours. It takes as little as three to ten days for the results to be sent back to the referring physician with recommended next steps to get you on the road to better health.

An overnight diagnostic sleep study is used to definitively diagnose sleep apnea. A sleep study is also necessary in order to provide documentation to a health insurance company of a medical condition that requires treatment. This study is painless, non-invasive, and measures a number of physiological changes while you sleep. A medical device records the number of sleep disordered breathing events that occur during the night.

SleepQuest works closely with the patient and referring physician to determine the most appropriate diagnostic sleep testing device to be used for each patient. While the patient sleeps in the privacy and comfort of their own bed for one or two nights, the device records numerous physiological parameters such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, body position, respiratory effort, airflow, snoring, body movement, sleep states (REM verse Non-REM), sleep stages (Light, Deep or REM sleep), and actigraphy.

SleepQuest only utilizes the most technologically advanced and reliable portable testing devices available. Our team of experts carefully prepare each device prior to it being sent or given to a patient.

Depending on the severity of the disorder as determined by the Apnea/Hypopnea Index (AHI) various treatment options may be appropriate. The AHI reflects the number of apneas and hypopneas occurring over a one hour period. Typically those with a mild diagnosis (AHI's greater than 5 and less than 15, the person has mild, moderate or severe sleep apnea will determine the required treatment. Simple lifestyle changes may be helpful such as not sleeping on one's back. The index number, known as the Apnea/Hypopnea Index will determine the most appropriate treatment options. For example, patients with a low Apnea/Hypopnea Index may benefit from the use of an oral appliance, which helps create more space in the airway, allowing better breathing while asleep.

Testing Methods

It is known that there are more than 85 identified sleep disorders, but the most common type requiring a sleep study is Obstructive, Mixed and Central Sleep Apnea. Both forms of testing measure the necessary data to accurately diagnose sleep apnea. Patients with other less common neurologically based conditions such as Narcolepsy should have their study performed in an attended setting at a sleep laboratory. For the diagnosis of sleep apnea, the patient has two options for undergoing an overnight sleep study: in the comfort of your own home or the sleep laboratory.

In-Home Sleep Test (HST):

Before a Home Sleep Test is performed, the patient is carefully instructed by a Sleep Care Specialist on how to prepare for the study. The test is performed by the patient in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own home. An in-home sleep study may be performed over one or multiple nights and records many of the same physiological channels as an in-lab such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, body position, respiratory effort, airflow, snoring, body movement, sleep states (REM verse Non-REM), sleep stages (Light, Deep or REM sleep) and actigraphy.

Once the results are downloaded, they are scored and interpreted by a SleepQuest board certified sleep physician. Like the in-lab study, the results of the home sleep study determines the severity of the sleep apnea, and provides a comprehensive interpretative report by SleepQuest's board certified sleep physician directly to the referring physician or dentist. A consultation can also be arranged between the SleepQuest physician and the referring physician.

Portable sleep testing devices were initially developed to serve the needs of patients in remote areas who were unable to go to a sleep lab. Nowadays, this testing method is preferred by many physicians and insurance payors, providing a safe, sophisticated, simple, cost-effective, and convenient choice for most patients suffering from sleep disordered breathing. Those who are affected by significant health complications such as Congestive Heart Failure, severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or Neuromuscular Disease or who may exhibit other neurologically based sleep disorders such as Narcolepsy are best served in an attended setting of a sleep laboratory.

In-Laboratory Study – Polysomnogram (PSG)

Due to the high costs involved, these studies are usually performed over a single night in a sleep laboratory, often located in a hospital, clinic, or medical building. The patient reports to the lab in the evening and a technician applies electrodes and elastic belts to numerous places on the body, each measuring a specific bodily function, such as brain activity, respiration, heart rate, abdominal effort, snoring, muscle activity, and oxygen saturation. A technician monitors the patient's sleep and if needed may intervene to start the patient on PAP therapy in the hope of alleviating further apneas from occurring. In addition to sleep related breathing disorders, PSG studies are used to test neurological sleep conditions such narcolepsy and parasomnias such as sleep walking or night terrors.

In many areas, it commonly takes 3-8 weeks to schedule an In-Laboratory Study. This results in long delays due to the limited number of available beds at each facility and the overall increased demand in these areas.

Sleep Study Reports

Once a Sleep Study has been completed and reviewed by one of our board-certified sleep medicine physicians; SleepQuest will provide the prescribing healthcare professional with a summary report containing study results and recommendations for any medically indicated follow-up testing or treatment options.

Our Sleep Reports include the following:

  • Apnea/Hypopnea Index (AHI)
  • Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI)
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS)
  • oxygen saturations levels
  • heart rate statistics
  • snoring statistics
  • sleep fragmentation statistics
  • estimated sleep efficiency
  • comments & recommendations

About SleepQuest

"From my very first visit at SleepQuest, they offered friendly, prompt and professional service."Julie P.
"I traveled from Gilroy to Redwood City because of your knowledgeable staff."Geoff D.
"Before, I met with a Sleep Care Specialist, I had felt so awful for so long. Now, I feel like a new person with renewed energy and hope. I can’t thank SleepQuest enough for all their help."Christie V.
"I choose SleepQuest because their Sleep Care Specialists are always friendly, patience, and helpful."Jin T.

Expert Guide to Sleep Apnea 

This guide to understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) was written by SleepQuest’s Chief Scientific Officer; William C. Dement, M.D., Ph.D.

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