Testing for Sleep Apnea

What is it about the testing for obstructive sleep apnea that has some people nervous? I have actually  had patients say “Yeah, I probably have sleep apnea but I’m not gonna do the sleep test!” which is something I just don’t understand. If you could find out what is making you tired, cranky and raising your blood pressure, wouldn’t you want to know so you could fix it?

The test that diagnoses sleep apnea is called a polysomnogram or sleep study. This test records certain physical activities and attributes while you sleep and these results are then analyzed by a sleep specialist to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea. Most polysomnograms are conducted at sleep centers, but more and more are being done with portable monitors worn at home.

On the night of your sleep study you will be assigned to a private bedroom in the sleep center. There is a monitoring center nearby where sleep technicians will monitor the test. You will be hooked up to electrodes to monitor electrical signals and belts around your chest and abdomen will measure your breathing. A small device will be attached to one finger to monitor oxygen levels in your blood. That’s it! There are no needles or anything painful involved.

While most people think that they won’t be able to fall asleep when hooked to the equipment, most patients fall asleep without much difficulty. After the test is complete you get to wake up and go home.

Obstructive sleep apnea is not something that can be ignored. Using an oral appliance following your diagnosis can keep your airway open during sleep. This means that your body will receive the oxygen it needs throughout the night and you will wake refreshed with more energy that you have felt in years. No more snoring and you have greatly reduced you chances of heart attack and stroke, which are both linked to untreated sleep apnea.

Find out more by contacting Dr. John Highsmith in Asheville, NC today at 828-627-9282.

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Posted in: Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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