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Sleep Apnea Tests and Diagnosis
If you have sleep apnea symptoms, your doctor or therapist may ask you to have a sleep apnea test, also called a polysomnogram. This may be done in a sleep disorder center by an experienced sleep therapist or even at home. A polysomnogram is a test comprising of multiple components that electronically transmit and record specific physical activities while a sleep apnea patient sleeps.
The recordings are examined by a qualified sleep specialist to establish whether or not one has sleep apnea or another type of sleep disorder. If sleep apnea is diagnosed with sleep apnea test results, you may be asked to do further sleep testing to determine the best sleep apnea treatment option.
What you should Expect During a Sleep Study
On the night of your sleep study, you will be assigned to a private bedroom, if you are in a sleep center lab. Near the bedroom, there will be a central monitoring area where the technicians monitor sleeping patients. If you would like to get more information about the sleep center lab near you, it would help to search online for ‘sleep apnea testing near me.’
During the test, the technicians will hook you up to equipment that may look uncomfortable. However, most people fall asleep with slight difficulty. However, most labs have more comfortable equipment. Portable equipment is now available for home testing, especially for less complicated cases or situations that can save you the sleep apnea test cost.
Frequently Used Equipment for a Sleep Study
During an obstructive sleep apnea study, surface electrodes will be put on your face and scalp. The electrodes will send recorded electrical signals to the evaluating and measuring equipment. These signals generated by your brain and muscle activity are then recorded digitally. Technicians will place belts around your chest and abdomen to monitor your breathing. During the sleep test, bandage-like oximeter probe is fixed on your finger to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood.
Other Tests for Sleep Apnea
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) – aimed atmeasuring and recording brain wave activity.
- Electromyogram (EMG)to record muscle activity such as face twitches, teeth grinding, and leg movements. It is also used in determining the presence of REM stage sleep. During REM sleep, intense dreams often occur as the brain is subjected to heightened activity.
- Electrooculogram (EOG)to record eye movements. These movements are vital in establishing the different sleep stages, particularly REM stage sleep.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) to record heart rate and rhythm.
- Nasal airflow sensorto record airflow.
- Snore microphoneto record snoring activity.